China is criminalizing self-immolators, arresting protesters’ friends and confiscating thousands of satellite TV dishes

Janphel Yeshi
Tibetan exile Janphel Yeshi is engulfed in flames after setting himself on fire during a protest in New Delhi. Yeshi set himself on fire and suffered extreme burns as he ran down a street in New Delhi to protest against an upcoming visit to India by Chinese President Hu Jintao. (March 2012)

Nearly 100 Tibetan monks, nuns and lay people have set themselves on fire since 2009. All of them calling for Beijing to allow greater religious freedom and the return from exile of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. None of them said anything bad about China.

Incapable of dealing with these protests, Chinese authorities respond by sending in security forces to seal off areas and prevent information from getting out. Communities and their leaders, as well as the families of self-immolators are punished through the cutting of financial support. Communal prayer services for the deceased and their families have been forbidden. However, those efforts did not stop or slow the protests.


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