Since China’s occupation of Tibet began, more than 1 million Tibetans have died as a direct result of Chinese rule. Today, the repression in Tibet is arguably worse than ever.
According to the watchdog group Freedom House, Tibet is the second-least-free place on Earth, behind only Syria and worse than even North Korea. Tibetans are restricted from practicing their religion, taking part in cultural activities and protesting peacefully. Hundreds of Tibetan prisoners of conscience are locked up in Chinese jails, and Tibetan refugees are cruelly denied the right to visit their ancestral land.
Given this immense level of repression, it’s no surprise that more than 150 Tibetans since 2009 have resorted to the tragic act of self-immolation, lighting their own bodies on fire in a final, desperate attempt to draw the world’s attention to their plight.
China has responded to these suicidal acts by arresting the friends and family members of those who self-immolate. But the only way to stop these tragedies from occurring is for the Chinese government to end its oppression of the Tibetan people.
Learn more about self-immolations.