News / Asia

Chinese Police Deny Self-Immolation of Tibetan Woman

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Police in central China are denying that a woman set herself on fire earlier this month to protest Chinese rule in Tibet, saying instead she was murdered by her husband who later set the body on fire.
 
Tuesday's Communist Party-controlled Global Times quoted a police official in Aba, in Sichuan province, as saying the husband, Dolma Kyab, strangled his wife, following a fight about his alcohol addiction. 
 
The official says the man burned her gasoline-drenched body a day later, adding he was "certain the case was not a protest against Chinese policy," as earlier reported by several international news outlets and Tibetan exile groups.
 
Both the Britain-based Free Tibet and the U.S.-based International Campaign for Tibet quoted local sources as saying Kunchoek Wangmo set herself on fire on March 13, in what appeared to be the latest in an intensifying wave of politically motivated self-immolation protests.
 
Both organizations said the husband had been arrested, as the Global Times confirmed. But they said he was only arrested after refusing to blame his wife's self-immolation on family problems.
 
In an interview with VOA, Free Tibet Media Officer Alistair Currie said he is "very skeptical" of the Chinese report, noting that Beijing regularly tries to dismiss the political motivation for self-immolations.
 
"The Chinese state has had a propaganda approach in the past few months of trying to denigrate those who self-immolate. We've heard about people who self-immolate being drunk, we've heard about them having various personal problems, none of which there is any independent evidence to support," says Currie. "So the natural and appropriate response to this is very deep skepticism -- this fits with a pattern of how China has responded recently to these events," he said. 
 
Currie says Free Tibet is confident in the information it receives regarding self-immolations, but that it will "seek further corroboration and further information" from sources inside Tibet. 
 
Bhuchung Tsering, a spokesman for the International Campaign for Tibet, said the Chinese government needs to look at what is really happening in Tibet rather than spread stories based on its political needs.
 
More than 100 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009 to protest Beijing's policy in their homeland. China denies it is repressing Tibetans and says the suicide protests are acts of terrorism.
 
In the past few months, the Chinese government has employed intensified tactics to discourage the protests, detaining and jailing people it says have incited the unrest. It has also harshly cracked down on those spreading information about the protests.
 
On Tuesday, state media said a court in Qinghai province sentenced three men to four to six years in jail for "state subversion", after they "spread text and images" related to Tibetan independence.
 
Beijing contends that Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has incited the self-immolations to promote Tibetan separatism. The Dalai Lama, who calls for greater autonomy for Tibet, says he has done nothing to encourage the suicide protests.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid