China: Tibetan Self-Immolations

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 19, 2011

QUESTION:  Have we raised the issue of Tibetan self-immolations with the Chinese government?

ANSWER:  Yes, we have, and we remain seriously concerned by reports, since April, of eight Tibetan Buddhist monks and one nun self-immolating at or near the Ngaba Kirti monastery in China’s Sichuan province. These acts clearly represent anger and frustration with regard to Tibetan human rights, including religious freedom, inside China. We again call on the Chinese Government to respect the rights of all Chinese citizens who peacefully express their desire for internationally recognized freedoms; and particularly to respect the rights of Tibetans; to resolve the underlying grievances of China’s Tibetan population. We urge Chinese leaders to address counterproductive policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions; and to protect Tibet’s unique religious, cultural, and linguistic identity.

PRN: 2011/1763