Press Release – Immolations in Tibet
25 October 2011
On March 16th, a young Buddhist monk, aged 21, self-immolated at the Kirti Monastery, in Tibet. With his action he intended to mark the third anniversary of the brutal repression which followed the pacific demonstrations of 2008. Instead of trying to put out the fire, the Chinese police beat him up savagely, thus hastening his death.
Faced with the indignation this tragedy provoked, Chinese authorities decided to respond using force. So on April 21th, 300 monks were arrested and taken away by military trucks. No one knows today what happened to them.
For months now, Chinese authorities have enforced an intolerable food blockade all around the monastery. After the 9th immolation, that of a 20-year-old nun, we learn today that again last week in order to protest against the violation of Tibetans’ human rights by China, another monk set fire to himself. This situation has become intolerable and the movement of those monks determined to die for their freedom keeps on expanding. The repression that follows is no longer bearable.
The present situation in Kirti and more broadly in the Aba Prefecture unfortunately reveals the common fate China eserves for dissidents and minorities.
At a moment when the President of the Republic holds the Presidency at the G20, we ask him to exercise his power and appeal to the international leaders so that the rights of Tibetans may be respected and their religious culture as well as their linguistic identity be protected.