Tibetan Cuts Own Throat in Lhasa Freedom Protest

2017-06-23
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Chinese armed police march past the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, Tibet, in a file photo.
Chinese armed police march past the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, Tibet, in a file photo.
Photo sent by an RFA listener

A Tibetan man called out on Friday for freedom for Tibet before cutting his own throat in a solo protest outside Lhasa’s famous Jokhang temple, Tibetan sources said.

No details were available on whether the man had died or been detained following his 10:00 a.m. protest, a Tibetan living in the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service on June 23.

“But he is unlikely to have survived,” the source said, writing to RFA on condition of anonymity.

“When police arrived on the scene, they immediately covered the place with blue sheets so that no sign of the incident was visible,” he said.

By 4:00 p.m., no evidence of the protest remained, a second source in Lhasa, Tibet’s regional capital, told RFA.

“Everything looked normal, and there was no unusual activity in the area,” the source said, also speaking on condition he not be named.

“Tibetans were still coming to the Jokhang to pray and receive blessings, and people in the area nearby were behaving just as always,” he said.

The protest was the second incident of its kind to be reported from the Jokhang, an important Tibetan pilgrimage site, in recent years.

In May 2012, two young Tibetans, believed to be monks, set themselves ablaze outside the temple in a protest challenging Chinese rule in Tibetan areas.

One of the two men later died, while the other was left badly burned, state media reported at the time.

Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.

CH. 1: MANDARIN | CANTONESE

CH. 2: VIETNAMESE | BURMESE | KOREAN

CH. 3: KHMER | LAO | UYGHUR

CH. 4: TIBETAN

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