Nun survives self-immolation at religious gathering in Tibet

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Free Tibet News Release: 12 June 2013
Immediate use

Nun survives self-immolation at religious gathering in Tibet

A clampdown on communications in Tawu County, eastern Tibet, has followed the attempted self-immolation of a nun outside a monastery in the area (1). The nun, whose name and age cannot be verified at this point, set herself alight at around 5pm local time, yesterday, 11 June. She has been taken to a local hospital. Details of her current condition cannot be obtained due to the communications restrictions.
The nun’s protest took place at Nyatso monastery, which is currently hosting a major Tibetan Buddhist gathering. Approximately 3,000 monks from 60 monasteries are reported to be participating in the debate festival. Last year, the event was prevented from taking place by Chinese authorities. Religious freedom in Tibet is strictly curtailed, with government-appointed “Democratic Management Groups” overseeing monasteries, and pictures of the Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhism prohibited.
Nearly 120 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire in protest against China’s occupation of Tibet (2).

Free Tibet director Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren said:

“Restrictions on religious practice by the Chinese regime are among the deepest grievances of the Tibetan people. The majority of those who have set themselves alight in Tibet are actually lay people but it is not uncommon for them to stage their protests near monasteries. Five of those who have set themselves alight this year have been monks or nuns. While Chinese authorities have permitted the gathering at Nyatso monastery this year, Tibet’s religious heritage has been decimated by the Chinese occupation and what remains is barely tolerated by the regime.”

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(1) Location: Nyatso Monastery, Tawu (Ch. Daofu), Kandze (Ch. Garzi) Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province
(2) Full list of self-immolators at 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.

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