Tibetan monk dies following second self-immolation protest in May

Saturday, 20 May 2017

A Tibetan monk named Jamyang Losel set himself on fire in protest against Chinese rule yesterday, 19 May, in eastern Tibet. He has since died from his injuries.

Jamyang Losel (1) carried out his self-immolation protest on a street in Chentsa County in Malho, eastern Tibet (2) (3). His self-immolation took place early in the morning (local time), the same day that a big music concert was due to place in Chentsa County.

After setting himself on fire, police and armed forces arrived at the scene immediately and took his body away. Jamyang Losel was taken to a hospital in Xining (4) where he died. His body has not yet been returned to his family.

Jamyang Losel was in his twenties and was a practicing monk residing at Gyerteng Monastery in Chentsa County. He is the fourth Tibetan this year to have carried out a self-immolation protest and the second this month, following the self-immolation of 16 year old  Chakdor Kyab on 2 May (5) (6).

Since 2009, nearly 150 Tibetans have carried out self-immolation protests in Tibet. The majority of these self-immolation protests claimed the life of the protester (7).

Free Tibet’s Campaigns and Communications Manager, John Jones, said:

“Jamyang Losel is the fourth Tibetan in three months to have set himself on fire in protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. While we should be cautious about talking about a renewed wave of self-immolations across Tibet, these numbers cannot be ignored, just as the grievances that motivate self-immolation protests cannot be ignored. China’s military occupation of Tibet, its human rights abuses and its unremitting interference and intrusion into the lives of its people are continued outrages that have only hardened Tibetans’ sense of injustice over time. Some Tibetans, like Jamyang Losel, see no other way of ending this injustice than to take the ultimate sacrifice and give their lives. The international community owes it to them, and all Tibetans, to use all of its diplomatic weight to urge China to change course, and allow the Tibetan people to live in freedom.”

-ends-

For further information or comment, contact Free Tibet campaigns and communications manager John Jones:

E: john@freetibet.org
T: +44 (0)207 324 4605

Notes to editors

  1. A photo of Jamyang Losel prior to his death can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/34733986976/in/dateposted/
  2. Location:  Chentsa (Ch: Jianzha) County in Malho (Ch: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province
  3. A map of Tibet can be found here: http://freetibet.org/about/location
  4. Chentsa County is located 127 kilometres away from the city of Xining, the provincial capital of Qinghai Province.
  5. For further information, see: https://www.freetibet.org/news-media/na/tibetan-teenager-sets-himself-fire
  6. In March, Pema Gyaltsen carried out a self-immolation protest in Kardze, eastern Tibet: https://freetibet.org/news-media/na/24-year-old-tibetan-sets-himself-fire-eastern-tibet. In April, Wangchuk Tseten, carried out a self-immolation protest, also in Kardze: https://www.freetibet.org/news-media/na/video-monk-carries-out-self-immolation-protest-tibet.
  7. The first self-immolation in Tibet took place in 2009. There were no further self-immolations until March 2011, with the peak number of self-immolations (83 confirmed cases) taking place in 2012. For a full list of self-immolation protesters, see: http://freetibet.org/news-media/na/full-list-self-immolations-tibet