Photograph of Tibetan monk following self-immolation emerges as eighth Tibetan sets fire to himself

15th October 2011

An eighth Tibetan (1), Norbu Dathul, 19, set himself on fire at 11:50am local time today in the main market of Ngaba Town, Ngaba County, Eastern Tibet (Chinese: Aba Town, Aba County, Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province), according to sources at Kirti Monastery in Dharamsala, North India.

Norbu Dathul, a former monk, is reported to have called out "Tibet Needs Freedom!” and “His Holiness the Dalai Lama must return!”. Chinese police reportedly extinguished the flames and took him away. His current well-being and whereabouts are unknown.

More than 40 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire in protest at the repressive Chinese occupation of their country. See the full list.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:

“This is the eighth self-immolation in protest at the persecution of Tibetans under Chinese rule since March this year. It provides further evidence that Tibetans now feel that setting fire to themselves is their only recourse.

The international community has failed the Tibetan people in their 60 year struggle for freedom. We must now hold China accountable for its gross human rights violations in Tibet and demonstrate a genuine determination to end this oppression.”

Photograph of Phuntsog following his self-immolation emerges from Tibet (2)

A photograph of Phuntsog, the first Tibetan monk to set fire to himself this year on 16 March in Ngaba Town, Ngaba County, Eastern Tibet (Chinese: Aba Town, Aba County, Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province) (3), has emerged from Tibet today. The photograph shows Phuntsog lying on the ground and appears to have been taken immediately after the flames were extinguished; a small crowd and a person holding a fire extinguisher can be seen standing a few feet away from him.

Phuntsog died from his injuries the next day, 17 March 2011. He was 21 years old.

A photograph of the second monk to self-immolate, while he is still in flames, emerged from Tibet soon after his death in August (4).

Ends

Notes to Editor

1) 16 March 2011: Phuntsog (21 yrs old; died), Ngaba: http://www.freetibet.org/newsmedia/160311-monk-self-immolation

15 August 2011: Tsewang Norbu (29 yrs old; died), Tawu, Kardze (Ch. Garzi), Sichuan : http://www.freetibet.org/newsmedia/monk-dies-after-setting-himself-fire-protest-tibet

26 September 2011: Lobsang Kalsang & Lobsang Konchok (18-19 yrs old; wellbeing & whereabouts unknown), Ngaba : http://www.freetibet.org/newsmedia/two-more-tibetan-monks-set-themselves-alight

3 October 2011: Kalsang Wangchuk (17-18 yrs old; wellbeing & whereabouts unknown), Kirti, http://www.freetibet.org/newsmedia/fifth-monk-self-immolates

7 October 2011: Choepel, 19 and Khayang, 18; both are believed to have now died from their injuries, Ngaba, http://www.freetibet.org/newsmedia/two-teenagers-set-themselves-fire-rumours-many-more-ready

2) http://freetibet.org/newsmedia/tibetan-monk-phuntsog-16-march-2011-ngaba-eastern-tibet-following-self-immolation

3) http://www.freetibet.org/newsmedia/160311-monk-self-immolation

4) http://freetibet.org/newsmedia/graphic-photograph-emerges-tibet-monk-tsewang-norbu-engulfed-flames-1

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 further information and interviews please contact Free Tibet’s Director Stephanie Brigden
E: stephanie@freetibet.org
T: +44 (0)20 7324 4605
M: +44 (0)7971 479515