90th Self-Immolator Taken Away by Police

Another self-immolation by a Tibetan protesting against Beijing’s policies in the region today brought the total to 90 since 2009. The 29-year-old man who set himself on fire today survived and was taken away by police, raising concerns that protests may break out in the region. Dharamsala-based Phayul reports: In reports just in, a Tibetan man today set himself on fire in Shagdom region on Ngaba, eastern Tibet in an apparent protest against China’s occupation of Tibet. The Tibetan man has been identified as Kunchok Kyab, 29, from Akyi region of Zoegey in Ngaba. According to the exile base of Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala, the situation in the region, at the time of filing this report, is being described as ‘very tense’ with fears over eruption of major protests in the region. “At around 9 am (local time) Kunchok Kyab set himself on fire near a gas station in the Shagdom region of Ngaba,” Kirti Monastery said in a release. “Shortly afterwards, Chinese security personnel arrived at the site and bundled him away after dousing the fire.” In response to the recent surge in self-immolations, Human Rights Watch has issued a statement urging the central Chinese government to address Tibetans’ grievances (issued before today’s self-immolation): A total of 89 Tibetans have self-immolated since February 2009, almost all of whom shouted slogans or left statements calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, Tibetan freedom, relaxation of religious and cultural policy, and related issues. In 2012, 76 Tibetans self-immolated, including 27 in November. Of the 89, 74 died, 7 reportedly survived, and the condition of 6 is unknown. “Self-immolation is an act of complete desperation to bring attention to the plight of Tibetans,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead of stepping up repression and driving ...
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