Teenage Tibetan girl self-immolates
Tenzin Choezin, an 18-year-old nun from Dechen Chokorling Nunnery (also known as Mamae Nunnery), Ngaba Town, Ngaba County, Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Eastern Tibet (1) set fire to herself today at approximately 6 pm local time (2). She is believed to have survived.
Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden commented:
“Today a teenage girl has set herself on fire in Tibet. She is the 22nd Tibetan in less than a year and the sixth this week alone. We know many more Tibetans are willing to give their lives and Tibetans are protesting in the streets, free from fear, aware that the consequences of doing so could be as grave as being shot and that arrest is likely.
Yesterday Chinese authorities stated that they are preparing themselves for "war" in Tibet – it is unclear how much more evidence the international community needs before they act; a handful of carefully crafted statements is no longer enough – now is the time for concerted international action.”
Tenzin was calling out slogans of protest against the Chinese government when she self-immolated at the junction leading to the bridge below Dechen Chokorling Nunnery. Soldiers and police came immediately and took her away towards Barkham (Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture). Soldiers then surrounded the nunnery and sealed it off. Nothing more is known of the situation at the nunnery.
Tenzin is the second nun from Dechen Chokorling Nunnery to self-immolate. On 17 October 2011, her fellow nun Tenzin Wangmo, who was only 20, died after setting herself on fire (3) .
Notes to editors
1) Chinese: Aba Town, Aba County, Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
2) Tenzin Choezin is the 22nd Tibetan, and the third nun, to set fire to themselves in protest at Chinese policies in Tibet since March 2011
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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