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Chinese authorities detain relatives of third self-immolator of 2015 PDF Print E-mail
[21 April 2015] A layman and former monk in Ngaba county has become the third Tibetan to self-immolate in 2015. Neykyab self-immolated next to a shrine dedicated to the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. The authorities have since confiscated his body and detained two of his relatives.

Neykyab (pictured right), a 46 year-old former monk and father of seven, set fire to himself in the early hours of 16 April in the courtyard of his home in Adue Gyade village, Ngaba (Ch: Aba) county, Ngaba prefecture, Amdo (now incorporated into China's province of Sichuan). Neykyab died at the scene.

Prior to his self-immolation, Neykyab arranged portraits of the Dalai Lama, the 10th Panchen Lama and his family in a makeshift shrine, with offerings of butter lamps, bowls of water and flowers
(pictured below). In the immediate moments before his protest, sources say Neykyab shouted for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and the release of the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama.

Nyekyab's shrine[In 1995, the Dalai Lama recognised Gedun Choekyi Nyima, a six year-old boy, as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama. Shortly after, the boy and his family were abducted by the Chinese authorities and have not been seen or heard from since.]

In response to the self-immolation, Chinese security forces seized Neykyabs body and detained his brother Naygang and a son-in-law Tsering Samdrup. The condition and whereabouts of the two family members are not known.

By confiscating the bodies of self-immolators, the authorities deny families the right to a traditional funeral. Along with the detention of family members, these tactics are being used by the Chinese authorities to discourage further self-immolations.

Neykyab, also known by his monastic name Damkar, maintained a very active presence on social media. He often wrote under the pseudonym Kawa Dhondrub about the importance of unity in Tibet. He was a very passionate advocate of peace, garnering recognition from an association of Ngaba monasteries, who awarded him a peace prize on account of his ongoing efforts within the region.

Neykyab's brother-in-law,
Dargye, was one of two men who died after a joint self-immolation in front of the Jokhang temple in Lhasa in May 2012.

This is the 138th self-immolation by a Tibetan in Tibet since 2009. It is the third self-immolation protest to take place this year, following those of
on 5 March and Yeshi Khando on 8 April.

Further reading:
Warning: the Phayul report contains a graphic image of the deceased.

Take Action  I  Background to self-immolations

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