The unheard cry of Tibet

Since 2011, dozens of Tibetan people (113) have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule. The Chinese response to the wave of self-immolations has been to criminalize the suicides and arrest the friends of protesters. Self-immolation protests have become less frequent in 2013 and 2014 but these and other protests are taking place over a widening area of Tibet. Some Tibetans have also set themselves alight outside Tibet and China.

Other forms of protest continue, including large-scale demonstrations, frequently met with a violent response by the authorities. Last August, five Tibetan protesters died in custody after being shot by security forces at a peaceful protest in Kardze, eastern Tibet. They were denied medical treatment.

Although many monks and nuns have set themselves alight, most self-immolation protesters were not from religious institutions. They include teachers, students and herdsmen, as well as mothers and fathers.The youngest was just 15 years old.