Tibetan teenager sets himself on fire

Bora Monastery, the site of Chakdor Kyab's self-immolation. Credit: RFA
Bora Monastery, the site of Chakdor Kyab's self-immolation. Credit: RFA

10th May 2017

16-year-old Chakdor Kyab is one of the youngest Tibetans to have carried out a self-immolation protest

Free Tibet has confirmed that a 16-year-old Tibetan student set himself on fire last week in eastern Tibet.

Chakdor Kyab carried out his self-immolation protest on 2 May in the campus of Bora Monastery, which is located in Tibet's Sangchu County. Witnesses say that he shouted slogans as the flames took hold, with one of the witnesses stating that Chakdor Kyab called for freedom in Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama.

After setting himself on fire, Chakdor Kyab began to walk in the direction of the local government office of Bora Township, which is located near to Bora Monastery. He fell down and moments later Chinese police and security personnel arrived at the scene to take him away.

Chakdor Kyab’s current whereabouts and situation are not known due to the tight restrictions on communication into and out of Tibet. Despite early reports of this self-immolation last week, most residents of Bora Township were unaware that any protest had taken place and some details of this story have only been confirmed today.

A call for freedom

Chakdor Kyab is the third Tibetan this year to have carried out a self-immolation protest. In March, Pema Gyaltsen set himself on fire in Kardze, eastern Tibet. A month later a Tibetan man, named by some sources as Wangchuk Tseten, died after carrying out a self-immolation protest in a busy street in Kardze Town.

Bora has been the site of at least four of the more than 140 self-immolation protests to have take place across Tibet since 2009. In most of these cases the protester died from the wounds they suffered from the flames.

Tibetans carrying out self-immolations typically shout slogans during their protests, calling for the Dalai Lama to return and for Tibet to be free.

Take action

The Panchen Lama has been missing since he was kidnapped in 1995 as a 6-year-old. Tibetans to continue to demand that China reveals where he is and that he is in good health, so we have launched a global push to make sure that this happens. Get involved with our campaign to free the Panchen Lama.

 

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