Tibetan Man Self-Immolates in Protest of Chinese Rule

Posted June 15th, 2012 at 9:50 am (UTC-5)
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A Tibetan nomad has died after setting himself on fire in a remote region of northwestern China in protest of Chinese rule.

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy says the man self-immolated Friday in front of a Chinese military compound in Qinghai province.

A friend of the man who set himself on fire told VOA's Tibetan service the man was in his late-50s. He is believed to be the oldest person to self-immolate among the dozens of Tibetans who have done so since 2009 to protest China's policies in Tibet.

China's official Xinhua news agency confirmed a person died of self-immolation Friday in Qinghai province but gave no details.

Tibetan exile groups say hundreds of people demanded the return of the man's body. The head of Free Tibet said the man's act was a “clear and absolute rejection of Chinese rule.”

Most of the incidents of self-immolation have taken place since March of last year to protest what Tibetans say is repression by China, which denies the accusations. Self-immolators often call for the freedom of Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India.

Many of the self-immolations have occurred in Tibetan-populated areas of southwestern China.