Youth Self-Immolates

Al Jazeera reported this week of a Tibetan youth who has burned himself to death as part of the protest against the occupation of businesses and monestaries by agents of the Chinese government.

The self-immolating youth, named Dorjee, was 18 years old and died from the incident.

When approached by Reuters, local police denied any knowledge of the incident.

In the past year at least 25 people have set their own bodies ablaze. Though this campaign began in 2008 with the self-immolating members of the religious community, it has grown to include average Tibetans beyond the borders of what is traditionally known as Tibet. Contrary to what most would expect, the most recent deaths were all regular people–not monks or clergy.

Free Tibet is a group based in Britain which cited an eyewitness saying that “Dorjee set himself on fire near a bridge and then walked in flames to a government office building where he collapsed.”

International Campaign for Tibet spoke with Tibetan monks at the Kirti monastery in India’s Dharamsala, the seat of the exiled Tibetan government. They reported that Dorjee shouted slogans against the policies of Tibetan repression by agents of the Chinese government as he set himself ablaze.

Dorjee’s death came two days after two Tibetans killed themselves by setting themselves on fire neighboring provinces.

Activists say that agents of the Chinese government violently stamp out religious freedom and culture in Tibet, which has been under the violence-backed control of Chinese state agents since 1950.

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