(TibetanReview.net, Mar22, 2015) – The few Tibetans who survived after having set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule face “extreme physical and psychological suffering”, including amputations, repression and forced disappearance, said Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) in a report Mar 19. The report documents cases of 20 of the 137 Tibetans who had self-immolated in Tibet since Feb 2009 but were not known to have died but had been taken away by Chinese security forces.
The report says that in some of these cases, families are still being prevented from knowing whether their relative lives or had died, years after they set themselves on fire. In some other cases, however, families became aware of their relative’s situation only after they were shown on state media propaganda blaming the Dalai Lama for their actions.
Four of the self-immolators had their limbs amputated, perhaps as a form of punishment, after they failed to burn themselves to death. One of them, a 17-year-old monk named Sungdue Kyab, was returned home nearly two years later, having lost both his legs, the report says.
The report, ‘Tibetan survivors of self-immolation: repression and disappearance’, also says those allegedly “associated” with self-immolators, including friends, families and even entire communities, had also been given individual and collective punishments by Chinese authorities.
“We have published this report as we are profoundly concerned about the treatment of self-immolators in Tibet who survive, based on reports of enforced disappearance and denial of medical care, or medical treatment such as amputation without families being fully informed,” Matteo Mecacci, President of ICT, was quoted as saying.
The report can be downloaded at: http://www.savetibet.org/newsroom/tibetan-survivors-of-self-immolation-repression-and-disappearance/