Rights activists say a Tibetan cab driver and mother of two died Saturday after setting herself afire, the latest death in a wave of self-immolations to protest Chinese rule.
The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet said in a release Sunday that Chagmo Kyi set herself ablaze in Tongren county in western China's Qinghai province.
The group said after the death, monks and others gathered amid a heavy security presence at a cremation site normally reserved for cremation of monks and lamas.
Saturday's incident raises the number of self-immolations in Tongren to seven since November 7. The county has seen a heavy Chinese police presence in recent weeks. Large crowds of Tibetans gathered in the area last week to say prayers for the protesters.
Tibetan sources have reported 75 self-immolation protests in Tibetan regions of China since 2009, with 60 cases known to have resulted in death.
Many Tibetans accuse the Chinese government of repressing their religion and culture. China says Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and benefit from better living standards linked to Chinese investment in underdeveloped Tibetan regions.
Beijing has accused exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations to promote Tibetan separatism. Speaking on a visit to Japan Monday, the Dalai Lama said China must conduct a “serious investigation” into the self-immolations rather than placing the blame on him.