Chinese authorities arrest seven over Tibetan self-immolation

Featured - January 16th, 2013

Authorities arrested seven people accused of inciting an ethnic Tibetan villager to set himself on fire in the latest crackdown on self-immolations in China.

Police in Gansu province apprehended seven people after a young Tibetan man who set himself ablaze died on Saturday, the latest reported case in a spate of fiery protests against China’s rule over Tibet.

Beijing has accused exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations and ordered judicial departments to file murder charges against anyone caught organizing, masterminding and inciting an other’s’ self-immolation – an act authorities say is a “serious crime”, AFP reports.

This comes following the self-immolation of a 26-year-old man in Hezuo city last October that authorities say was “masterminded by key members of the ‘Tibetan Youth Congress’ of the overseas Dalai clique”.

According to US-based Radio Free Asia, 96 Tibetans, many of them monks and nuns, have set themselves ablaze in China since 2009 to protest against religious and cultural repression.

Beijing claims Tibetans enjoy religious freedom, saying it has brought modernization and a better standard of living to Tibet.