According to an Epoch Times ongoing investigation during the 2007 New Year holiday season from January 1 to 3, at least two people set themselves on fire on Tiananmen Square. The atmosphere was full of tension with policemen conducting body searches to find people carrying gasoline.
According to a few peddlers on Tiananmen Square on New Year's Day, one man set himself on fire near the national flag pole; the police quickly sealed off the area. Another peddler saw heavy smoke and suspected the person died on the scene. One human rights activist told The Epoch Times that his source identified the self-immolator as an appellant from Northeast China.
On the morning of January 3, in front of Zhengyang Gate on Tiananmen Square, another person set himself on fire. An eye witness saw the self-immolator run several steps before the police caught him. The witness also confirmed there was heavy smoke.
One elderly petitioner said that the Communist regime has developed a very efficient working procedure to handle self-immolations on Tiananmen Square, “Every time someone sets himself on fire to commit suicide, the police immediately seal off the area. No matter how badly the area is burnt, cleaners scrub away all traces and within 20 minutes the place looks new again.”