Deceased self-immolator’s photo becomes available more than 6 years after fiery protest

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has received a photo of Dorjee who died in 2012 after setting his body on fire to protest repressive policies of the Chinese government in Tibet.

The photo could not be shared earlier due to pervasive surveillance and criminalisation of self-immolation protests in Tibet. A number of Tibetans had been imprisoned for sharing news and images about self-immolation on the charges of ‘leaking state secrets’ or ‘maintaining illegal contacts with outsiders’.

Dorjee, 18, staged the self-immolation protest near the Chinese government office in Cha (Ch: Jia) Township, Ngaba County, Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo. He died at the site of the protest before local police arrived on the scene to take his body away. His family members were denied the right to perform his last rites. Only his ashes were handed over to his family by local authorities. Except for Phuntsok who died of self-immolation in March 2011, the bodies of all self-immolators were forcibly seized and cremated by local authorities.

Dorjee is the son of Mr Chah-chah from Shok Mema nomadic area in Charuwa Village​ ​in Cha Township. Charuwa is one of the three nomadic villages (the other two are Raruwa and Naktsangma) located in Cha Township. The ​township is situated 70 kms from Ngaba County town.

A total of 84 known Tibetans staged self-immolation protests inside Tibet in 2012, the highest since 2009 when Tibetans resorted to setting their bodies on fire to protest Chinese government repression.

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