Another Tibetan has set himself on fire on Tuesday, raising the total to 98 in a sign that the fiery protests against Chinese Communist Party rule won’t end any time soon.
The man was identified as 26-year-old Kunchok Kyab, a father of two, from western Gansu Province, sources told Radio Free Asia. It is the third self-immolation already this year.
“I have seen Kunchok Kyab’s body being carried away by the Chinese police,” a Tibetan living close to the Bora monastery, near where he set himself on fire, told the broadcaster.
The family threatened a “sit-in protest in front of the local police station” if the police did not return the body, the Tibetan source said. He was not named likely due to security reasons. Kyab set himself on fire to protest against oppressive Chinese rule, an exile source in India told RFA.
There were few other details about the incident available. Chinese authorities often attempt to hinder the spread of information regarding Tibetan self-immolations and protests.
The exiled Tibetan government, the Central Tibetan Administration, has decried the wave of self-immolations, urging those living inside China to refrain from burning themselves. But the organization has maintained that Communist Party policies that target Tibetan language, religion, and culture are the driving force behind the fiery protests.
The latest immolation comes just days after the Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy published a report saying the human rights situation in Tibet “hit a new low” last year, highlighting the dramatic increase in protests and people setting themselves on fire. As many as 82 Tibetans self-immolated last year, according to Phayul, a pro-Tibet publication.
“Those who shared information about human rights abuses in Tibet with outsiders were charged of violating State Secrets Law and imprisoned following dubious trials,” the website said.
At least 269 known Tibetans were detained and imprisoned in 2012, putting the total number of Tibetan political prisoners in its database at 988.
“An overwhelming number were detained, disappeared and sentenced on obscure charges of ‘leaking state secrets’ and ‘endangering state security,’” it said.
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