Tibetan mother of three dies after setting fire to herself
A young Tibetan nomadic woman set fire to herself this afternoon in front of Jonang Dzamthang monastery in Barma Township, Eastern Tibet (1). Rechok, who was in her mid-30s and a mother of three (2), died at the scene; her body is currently in the monastery and many Tibetans have gathered for her cremation which is expected to be held this evening.
Rechok spent the last few days in the mountains tending to the family’s animals and then travelled specifically into the town, prepared to give her life.
Four young lay people have now set fire to themselves in Barma in 2012, in protest at China’s occupation of Tibet (3). In January, state security forces shot dead a young man who, with many fellow townspeople, was trying to prevent a friend of his being arrested(4). The friend had posted leaflets in the town claiming that self-immolations will continue until Tibet is free.
Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden commented:
“Barma Township is like many other places in Tibet: people from all walks of life are rejecting Chinese rule and going to extraordinary lengths to make their calls for freedom heard.
“Today’s self-immolation comes only three days after two young Tibetan men set fire to themselves in protest in Tibet’s capital Lhasa many hundreds of miles away. Tibetan calls for freedom continue to spread; the international community must break their silence on Tibet.”
Notes to Editor
1) Barma Township is in Dzamthang County, Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Chinese: Zhongrangtang Township, Rangtang County, Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan)
2) Rechok has two daughters who are 9 and 15 years old and one son aged 17.
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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