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Protestor killed by security forces as self-immolations escalate PDF Print E-mail
[14 August 2012] A Tibetan was beaten to death yesterday by Chinese security forces during a demonstration that took place in Ngaba, eastern Tibet following two further self-immolations. Both self-immolators are now known to have died. A third self-immolation in the same region has yet to be confirmed.

At approximately 7pm local time on 13 August, two Tibetans set fire to themselves near Kirti monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) in Amdo (now incorporated in to the Chinese province of Sichuan). The two, both in their early 20s, have been identified as Lungtok, a Kirti monk, and Tashi, a former monk and classmate of Lungtok. Both walked down the main road shouting slogans as they were ablaze, in protest against China's oppresive rule. Chinese security personnel took both men away. Witnesses say that Tashi was beaten before being forcibly removed. Lungtok died several hours later.  A third self-immolation was reported to have occurred in the Ngaba region on the same day, however, this has yet to be confirmed.

Update - 16 August: Reports have confirmed that Tashi died on 14 August, having succumbed to the injuries he received. Tashi had been taken by Chinese security forces to a hospital in Ngaba and was later transferred to a hospital in Barkham where he later died. It is not known if Tashi's body has been handed over to his family. Tibetan shops and restaraunts in Ngaba are reported to have remained closed on 14 August to mourn the deaths of Tashi and Lungtok.

PLA troops in NgabaFollowing the joint self-immolations, local Tibetans gathered in Ngaba to protest against the security crackdown being imposed in the region. Chinese security forces (pictured right in Ngaba in undated photo) responded with violence, beating the demonstrators with iron rods and spiked batons. One unidentified Tibetan died as a result of the beatings and many others injured. An unknown number of Tibetans were detained.

Latest reports from the region indicate a further large scale deployment of armed forces is taking place throughout the Ngaba region. Communications with region are being blocked by the authorities making it difficult to obtain detailed information on the current situation.

The Tibetan government in exile (known as the Central Tibetan Administration) issued a press release denouncing China's violent suppression of the protests. The statement said, "The Central Tibetan Administration has strongly condemned the use of force by the Chinese authorities in dealing with the peaceful Tibetan protestors and urge them to exercise utmost restraint."

Since 6 August there have been five confirmed self-immolations in eastern Tibet. Four are known to have died. In 2012 there have been 36 confirmed self-immolations and 49 since February 2009, when the first known self-immolation in Tibet took place. Mass demonstrations, calling for an end to China's repressive policies, continue to be reported despite the security crackdown in Tibet and the violent response of Chinese forces.

(Please note: Tibet Society will be issuing an updated campaign action in early September when the UK parliament reconvenes. Until then please write to your MP and the Chinese Amabassador with your concerns. Click here for details.)

Further reading:
RFA I TCHRD (14 Aug) I TCHRD (15 Aug) I Guardian I
CTA press release

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