First triple self-immolation protest in Tibet: 15 and 16-year-old boys set themselves on fire in call for freedom

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

In the first documented case of a triple self-immolation, three teenage Tibetan monks, aged 15 and 16, set fire to themselves today, calling for freedom for Tibet. A total of four Tibetans (1) have set themselves on fire today, the largest number of confirmed self-immolations in a day.

The triple self-immolation took place at approximately 3pm local time today outside the gates of the local Public Security Bureau (police) office in Gomang Township, Ngaba County, Eastern Tibet (2).

The boys called out for freedom in Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama as they set themselves on fire. Security forces arrived at the scene almost immediately.

The youngest monk, 15-year-old Dorjee (3), died at the scene. His companions, 16-year-olds Samdup (4) and Dorjee Kyab (5), were taken to hospital by security forces. Their current whereabouts and wellbeing are unknown.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:

“These are the youngest Tibetans to set fire to themselves in protest at China’s occupation. This is also the largest single incident, yet another indication of the escalation of protests in Tibet.

“In just one day, on the eve of the Communist Party Congress, four Tibetans have set fire to themselves. These protests are aimed at sending the next generation of China’s unelected regime a clear signal that Tibetans will continue to fight for their freedom despite China’s efforts to suppress and intimidate them.

“As the numbers of Tibetans willing to set themselves on fire grows, and protesters grow younger, the international community’s failure to hold China accountable becomes more outrageous."

The boys were all from the same area (6), and belonged to Ngoshul Monastery (7), which is just outside Gomang Town, approximately 10km from Ngaba town where so many people have self-immolated in the last 18 months.

Security forces have been deployed to Gomang and to Ngoshul Monastery. Already heavy restrictions in the Ngaba County have been intensified. People are unable to leave or enter Ngaba town. These restrictions make it extremely difficult to obtain more detailed information about the situation.

Ends

Notes to Editors

1) Free Tibet press release of Tibetan nomadic woman setting herself on fire: http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/tibetan-nomadic-woman-sets-fire-herself

2) Chinese: Gemo, Aba County, Aba Tibetan Autonomous Region, Sichuan Province.

3) Dorjee’s father (deceased) was called Tsering and his mother’s name is Gangkhar (also deceased), from the Chukhatsang household, Ngoshul Thangbama village, Ngaba County.

4) Samdup’s father’s name is Sodar and his mother’s name is Pesang, from Thanglhatsang household, Ngoshul Thangbama village, Ngaba County.

5) Dorjee Kyab’s father is called Tsering Dhondup, from Tsering Dhonduptsang household, Ngoshul Mekyong village, Ngaba County.

6) Ngathok Gomang Tsodruk village Gemo, Aba County, Aba Tibetan Autonomous Region, Sichuan Province

7) The monastery houses around 130 monks.

8) Free Tibet press releases detailing recent protests: http://freetibet.org/news-media/press-releases

9) Full list of Tibetan self-immolations: http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/na/full-list-self-immolations-tibet

Free Tibet is an international campaigning organisation that stands for the right of Tibetans to determine their own future. We campaign for an end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and for the fundamental human rights of Tibetans to be respected.

For interviews and further information please contact Free Tibet’s Director Stephanie Brigden:

E: stephanie@freetibet.org
M: +44 7951 479 515
S: stephaniefreetibet