POLITICS - RELIGIONS

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.