China imposes collective punishment for self-immolator associates, including monasteries
In a new effort to stem the wave of self-immolation protests by Tibetans living under Chinese rule, the Chinese government has introduced measures to inflict collective punishment on those associated with the protesters, according to recent reports by Radio Free Asia and the Tibet Post. A Chinese government document obtained by RFA stipulates that
“families of self-immolators are deprived of government assistance, including use of land and cash subsidies, for a three-year period and have to return all monetary assistance they have received from the authorities three years prior to the burning protests.
“Monasteries where self-immolations occur have to pay a penalty of between 10,000 to 50,000 yuan (US $1,650 to $8,245). Government officials and staff of monastery management committee who have links to the self-immolators are deprived of promotion opportunities under the new measures while families of self-immolators are barred from traveling to Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, for three years.”
Soon after this item was filed by RFA, the Phayul News Service reported that five Tibetans had been arrested in connection to Phagmo Samdrup’s fatal self-immolation on February 5. Phayul added that Samdrup’s family was forced to dispose of his remains in the culturally disrespectful manner of throwing them in the river, instead of allowing for the traditional Buddhist prayers to be recited over the body — an increasingly common occurrence.