Former monk self-immolates in eastern Tibet after months of harassment by Chinese police

Reports have emerged that a former monk self-immolated in Ngaba, eastern Tibet, on February 3. Free Tibet says it took 10 days to confirm the immolation because Tibetans are afraid of reprisals from Chinese police for speaking out.

Lobsang Namgyal, 37, a former monk at Kirti Monastery, set himself ablaze in front of a police station in Zoege, Ngaba, on the morning of Sunday, February 3. He died at the scene, and his body was cremated by Chinese police.

Phayul reports that Lobsang Namgyal went missing from Kirti Monastery for two weeks last September, prompting frantic searches. It was later discovered that he had been detained by police. After his release, police followed his movements and made it difficult for him to stay at the monastery. He moved in with family members, but police continued to harass him.

Lobsang Namgyal is survived by his parents and eight siblings. His family is currently being monitored by police, and their phone calls are being recorded. After Lobsang Namgyal’s immolation, police held his younger brother, who is also a monk, for several days.

Over 100 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest of Chinese occupation since 2009. Click here for all of Buddhadharma News’ coverage of the protests.