Tibetan Self-Immolates in India Over China

March 26, 2012 Updated: March 28, 2012

Another Tibetan self-immolated on Monday, this time in the Indian capital of New Delhi at a demonstration before a visit from Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Free Tibet human rights group said.

The total number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire is now 29 in the past several years, with the majority taking place in southwestern China, particularly in Sichuan province. Many have been Tibetan monks protesting Chinese rule.

The man was identified as 26-year-old Jampa Yeshi, said Free Tibet, which added that “his current well-being is unknown with conflicting reports coming out of Delhi as to whether he is alive or not.” It said the man was taken to the hospital for severe burns.

A photograph taken of the immolation showed a man, who was identified as Yeshi, running outside in a crowded area, with a massive amount of flames trailing behind him. 

Free Tibet said Yeshi ran for more than 100 feet before other people attempted to extinguish the flames. “Fellow protesters beat out the flames with Tibetan flags they were carrying,” the group said.

A police officer in India said Yeshi left Tibet five years ago and was living in New Delhi for five years.

“These self-immolations are part of wider protests currently taking place in Tibet which have led to hundreds of Tibetans being detained. In some instances the Chinese authorities have used lethal force against unarmed protesters,” Free Tibet stated.