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Tragic Self-immolations by Tibetans continue in protest for Chinese oppression

Since February 2009, 94 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet as reported up to March this year, with a dramatic acceleration in frequency since the once-in-a-decade leadership transition at the Chinese Communist Party Congress in November.

Two Tibetans self-immolating in Dzatoe township in Qinghai The Chinese authorities in Tibet have intensified measures to prevent information reaching the outside world about the self-immolations. This has been combined with a more aggressive and formalized response to the self-immolations, involving harsh sentencing and torture for those suspected of involvement, even if that is simply bearing witness. Due to this climate, it is impossible for this list to be fully comprehensive, and it is indicated on the list where circumstances of the self-immolations are not fully known.

A map marking the locations of the self-immolations in Tibet can be viewed HERE. For further information and details of the lives of a number of those who self-immolated and the statements they left behind. (ICT report, Storm in the Grasslands: Self-immolations in Tibet and Chinese policy).

  • 153 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet and China since February 27, 2009. A Rinpoche and his niece, died in a fire – according to information from the Tibetan government in exile and Woeser, this may have been a self-immolation that was later erroneously described as a house fire. See details below on Thubten Nyandak Rinpoche and his niece Atse.
  • 125 men, 28 women
  • 122 of the 153 are known to have died following their protest
  • 26 of the Tibetans who self-immolated were 18 or under
  • 13 of the 153 were monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba
  • 11 of the 153 are former monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba (It is currently not known who of the nine chose to disrobe, or were expelled from the monastery by government authorities)
  • Two of the 153 were nuns from Mame Dechen Chokorling nunnery in Ngaba
  • 152 of the self-immolations have occurred since March 16, 2011

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