26/02/2021

Detentions reported in latest Tibetan protest self-immolation

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A Tibetan father of two who self-immolated yesterday taken away along with a group of other Tibetans in Zoege (Ch: Ruo’ergai) County in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

On 30 November, at around 9 am (local time), Kunchok Kyap, 29, set his body on fire in protest against the Chinese government at a gas station 10 km away from Shagdom Township in Zoege County, according to information received by TCHRD.

Moments later, the local Public Security Bureau officers arrived at the scene and took Kyap away to the prefectural capital in Barkham (Ch: Ma’erkang). A group of Tibetan youth from Kyap’s village ran after the PSB officers to stop the officers from taking away Kyap. Sources told TCHRD that the young men never returned home, raising fears among villagers that they had been detained.

At about 9.30 pm of the same day, a number of local Tibetans gathered together to prepare for a protest against the local authorities. Sources also said local Tibetans would press the authorities to release Kyap and other Tibetans.

It is not known whether Kyap had survived or died of the burning protest. Kyap belongs to Saru Toemey Rusar Khawa nomadic village in Akyi Township in Zoege County. He is survived by his parents, Phuntsok and Lobsang Dolma, and three siblings. He also left behind his wife, Pema Kyi, 26, and his two children, ages 9 and 6.

Two days before, on 27 November, another Tibetan, Kalsang Kyap, 24, had died of protest self-immolation in Zoege.