Second self-immolation in two days leads to tension between security forces and Tibetans

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

At approximately 3.30p.m (local time) today, a 58 year-old Tibetan man, Dorjee Rinchen (1: portrait), set fire to himself (2: photograph) in protest at China’s occupation of Tibet in Labrang, Sangchu County, Eastern Tibet (3). Dorjee Rinchen died at the scene.

This is the second self-immolation in two days in Labrang (4), the ninth self-immolation in Tibet in the last month and the 58th Tibetan self-immolation since March 2011(5).

Security forces tried to prevent local people from carrying Dorjee Rinchen’s body back to his home but, after a brief confrontation (6: photograph), locals brought his body back to his home in Upper Zayue village, Sangchu County.

Monks from Labrang Monastery tried to go to Dorjee Rinchen's home to pray but they were stopped en route by security forces, and so prayed on the road where they had been stopped (7: photographs) and then returned to the monastery.

Dorjee Rinchen set himself on fire in front of the offices of the Armed Forces Department. Earlier in the day, he had been to pray at Labrang Monastery and then cleaned his home before going into the town in the afternoon and setting fire to himself.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:

“Dorjee Rinchen is the second Tibetan to set himself on fire in Labrang in two days. Like many Tibetans in the last eighteen months, he set himself on fire in front of a government building that symbolises China’s occupation.

Tibetans are paying a terrible price for the Communist Party leadership’s determination to maintain stability.”

Ends

Notes to editors

1. Portrait photograph of Dorjee Rinchen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/8116477103/in/photostream"http://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/8116477103/in/photostream" title="Free Tibet Dorjee Rinchen">

2. Dorjee Rinchen in flames, running: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/8116477179/in/photostream

Dorjee Rinchen fallen to the ground in flames:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/8116485406/in/photostream

3. Chinese: Gansu Province

4. Free Tibet press release, Dorjee Rinchen: http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/pr/tibetan-self-immolation-well-known-labrang-monastery#.UIbFZJZaouI

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

6. Security forces try to prevent locals removing the body of Dorjee Rinchen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/8116477427/in/photostream

7. Monks from Labrang Monastery try to reach Dorjee Rinchen’s home: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/8116476985/in/photostream/

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 please contact Free Tibet’s Media Officer Harriet Beaumont:

E: harriet@freetibet.org
M: +44 7900 203307
T: +44 207 324 4605