Two young Tibetans self-immolate
Two Tibetan lay-people in their 20s, Sonam and Choephak Kyap, set themselves on fire together today, at 14:20 local time, in front of Jonang Dzamthang monastery (1) in Barma Township, Dzamthang County, Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Eastern Tibet (2). Local people took the two away; according to an eyewitness Sonam and Choephak appeared to be critically injured.
According to local people, security forces are en route to the township.
Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden commented:
“Barma Township has seen its fair share of trouble in the past months: Chinese state security forces shot dead a young man called Urgen in January, and in February a teenager called Nangdrol died after setting fire to himself, also in front of the monastery. All three self-immolations in Barma have been by laypeople.
China’s response to threats to stability is becoming increasingly uncompromising and brutal, but Tibetans are showing that they will not be cowed by repression – calls for freedom in Tibet continue unabated.”
Notes to Editor
1) The monastery houses 2,500 monks
2) Chinese: Zhongrangtang Township, Rangtang County, Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
3) Press release regarding the shooting of Urgen in Barma in January 2012: http://www.freetibet.org/newsmedia/press-release-tibetan-shot-dead-ngaba-autonomous-prefecture
4) Press release regarding self-immolation in Barma in February 2012: http://www.freetibet.org/newsmedia/18-year-old-latest-tibetan-set-himself-fire-0
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