China again detains 16-year-old Tibetan self-immolator’s parents

Bora monastery, a branch of Labrang Tashikyil monastery. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
Bora monastery, a branch of Labrang Tashikyil monastery. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, May20, 2017) – Having previously released them after a short period of detention and interrogation, Chinese authorities in Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Prefecture of Gansu Province have again taken away the parents of a 16-year-old Tibetan boy who had immolated himself on May 2 in protest against Chinese rule, said the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia (Washington) May 18. Chagdor Kyab’s protest self-immolation near the area’s Bora Monastery had brought to 149 the number of such Tibetan cases in Chinese ruled Tibet since Feb 2009.

However, while just after the self-immolation both the parents – Soepa and Drolma Tso – were detained with their daughter as well, this time Kyab’s sister was spared as she was bedridden with illness.

The report did not say when the parents were taken away again. It only said report about the second detention reached the outside world much later due to China’s block on communication channels after the incident. It did suggest that the second detention took place almost immediately after their release from the first. “They were released and allowed to return home. … But the authorities then came back and took both parents away with them,” it said.

The report said that on the day of his self-immolation, Kyab had been taken by his father from their Dardo Village to the Bora Middle School. However, after about 20 minutes, Kyab had gone to the nearby Bora monastery, prayed at its main shrine, made a circumambulation of the monastery a few times and then set himself afire.

And as he burned, the boy reportedly shouted for Tibetan freedom and for the return home of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Chinese police had quickly arrived on the scene, put out the flames, and taken him away.

Although feared to have died at the scene, nothing could be confirmed so far.


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