20-Year-Old Mother in Sichuan Self-Immolates

A twenty-year-old Tibetan mother, Jugtso (also spelled Chugtso) has killed herself in a self-immolation protest in today. Free Tibet reports:

Jugtso set herself alight outside a monastery in Ngaba, eastern Tibet (1) around 3pm local time today, 16 April. Local witnesses confirmed that she died at the scene. Her body was taken into the monastery where religious ceremonies were conducted. Local authorities have ordered her family to cremate the body tonight, in contravention of Tibetan tradition. Hundreds of members of the local community have gathered near the family home in preparation for the cremation.

Jugtso was married with a three-year-old child.

Radio Free Asia has more on the local reaction to her death:

Chugtso died at the scene and was brought to the nearby Jonang monastery, where monks performed prayers. Afterward, her remains were taken to her home, Gyatso said.

“Following this, local government officials and security forces pressured the family to cremate her remains during the night,” Gyatso said, adding, “This has been the usual practice of the government in handling self-immolation incidents.”

The incident brought “thousands” of area residents out in support, Gyatso said.

“Thousands of local Tibetans and monks are gathering at the monastery and her home to show solidarity with the deceased and her family,” he said.

It is notoriously difficult to get accurate details about self-immolation protests as local authorities limit communications in some areas where the protests occur and punish those who spread the information. Tibetan Review reports that four people have been sentenced for “separatism” for transmitting information about self-immolations overseas. Read more about self-immolation protests in Tibetan areas.