7 Tibetans Set Selves on Fire This Week

Protests against China's rule escalate
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2012 11:49 AM CDT
7 Tibetans Set Selves on Fire This Week
In this Oct. 23 photo released by the International Campaign for Tibet, Chinese police and residents converge on the body of a farmer who set himself on fire in China's Gansu province.   (AP Photo/International Campaign for Tibet)

(Newser) – Two Tibetan cousins set fire to themselves in their village to protest Chinese rule, bringing the total number of self-immolations this week to seven, a rights group said today. Free Tibet said cousins Tsepo, 20, and Tenzin, 25, called for independence for Tibet as they set themselves ablaze Thursday in front of a government building in their village in Biru county north of Lhasa, Tibet's main city. Tsepo reportedly died and Tenzin's condition was unknown after he was taken away by authorities.

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Dozens of ethnic Tibetans have set themselves on fire in heavily Tibetan regions since March 2011 to protest what activists say is Beijing's heavy-handed rule in the region. Many have called for the return of the Dalai Lama, their exiled spiritual leader. The protests have intensified as Beijing nears a once-a-decade power transfer in early November. Yesterday, a 24-year-old Tibetan farmer died from self-immolation near a military base in Amuquhu town in western China's Gansu province, Free Tibet said. (Read more Tibet stories.)

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