Witnesses Report Self-Immolation in Ngaba County in Sichuan Province

2017-12-23
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Screen shot from a video of a self-immolation protest near Kirti monastery in Ngaba county, Sichuan, Dec. 23, 2017.
Screen shot from a video of a self-immolation protest near Kirti monastery in Ngaba county, Sichuan, Dec. 23, 2017.
Courtesy of an RFA listener.

A person believed to be Tibetan self-immolated on Saturday evening in a Tibetan area of China’s western Sichuan province, exiled Tibetan sources familiar with the incident told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

A witness saw the aftermath of a self-immolation that took place at 6:30 p.m. local time on the road between Kirti monastery and Pawo in Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) County, said a Tibetan exile source who relayed the account to RFA.

“At the time he saw the police were clearing up the spot and people were saying that, at this very moment, a person self-immolated,” said the exiled source.

A second exiled Tibetan source told RFA that the police had taken away the body.

A video obtained by RFA and circulating widely on social media shows a person fully engulfed in flames walking on the street.

The person’s gender and identity remains unclear and the sources did not know whether the individual survived.

A total of 152 people have now set themselves ablaze in Tibet and Tibetan-populated counties in western China since 2009. Their protests have featured demands for Tibetan freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from India, where he has lived since escaping Tibet during a failed national uprising in 1959.

Reported by Kalden Lodoe and Chakmo Tso. Translated by Benpa Topgyal. Edited by Paul Eckert.

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