Tibetan woman dies in second self-immolation this week

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Tenth fire protest of 2014

22 December 2014, immediate use

Today (22 December) 20-year-old Tibetan Tsepe set herself on fire around 2pm local time in Meruma town, Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in eastern Tibet (1). Sources confirmed that she died at the scene and was taken away by the police.

Tsepe (full name, Tsepe Kyi) belonged to village no. 4 of Meruma town, Ngaba County and was survived by her parents, Chudor and Chenpha, and five brothers and sisters. Photographs of her body and the scene of her protest are available (2).

Tsepe’s self-immolation follows that of Sanghyal Khar, on 16 December (3), and brings the total number of such protests in Tibet this year to ten. There were 27 self-immolations in 2013 and more than 80 in 2012 (4).

After a single self-immolation in 2009, the wave of Tibetan self-immolations protests began in Ngaba TAP in 2011 with a protest on the anniversary of the fatal shooting of 13 protesters in 2008 (5). There have been two self-immolations in Ngaba this year (6), including on the anniversary of the shootings again on 16 March.

Free Tibet director Eleanopr Byrne-Rosengren said:

“More than three years and 130 deaths after the current wave of self-immolations began, Tibetans continue to set themselves alight in protest against China’s policies and rule in Tibet. China’s response has been to inflict collective punishments on communities in which the protests takes place. The ongoing crisis in Tibet will not be resolved until the world’s leaders put pressure on China to recognise Tibetans’ desire for freedom instead of criminalising it.”

Information provided by Tibet Watch.

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Notes to editors

(1)Location: Meruma town, Ngaba County, Ngaba Prefecture, Amdo (Ch: Mai'erma. Aba County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province)

(2) Photographs (warning: graphic content) available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/sets/72157649870937421/ ; video (graphic) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2VCYOqm0Q8&feature=youtu.be

(3) Free Tibet press release, 16 December http://freetibet.org/news-media/na/tibetan-dies-fatal-protest. Previous self-immolatios: Lhamo Tashi, 17 September http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/fatal-self-immolation-tibet and Kunchok, 16 September 2014 http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/man-survives-self-immolation-protest-tibet

(4) Full list of self-immolators at http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/na/full-list-self-immolations-tibet

(5) Free Tibet press release, 17 March 2011 http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/monk-dies-after-self-immolation

(6) Free Tibet press release, 16 March 2014 http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/monk-self-immolates-tibet-anniversary-fatal-shootings; Free Tibet press release,14 February 2014 http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/self-immolation-protest-new-year-prayer-festival-eastern-tibet