News

  • The reverend Quang Duc, a 73 year old Buddhist monk, is soaked in petrol before setting fire to himself and burning to death in front of thousands of onlookers at a main highway intersection in Saigon, Vietnam. He had previously announced that he would co
  • People of what was then Czechoslovakia pay tribute 24 January 1969 at Wenceslas square downtown Prague to Jan Palach, the day before his funeral. Palach, Czech student, burned himself to death in January 1969 to protest the Soviet occupation of his count
  • An unidentified man (L) tries to save 26 year-old Aaibunissa (R) who carried out a self-immolation along with another relative woman in front of the Hyderabad special terrorist courts in Karachi. The two women, Zaibunissa and Hakimzadi doused themselves
  • Chung Jae-Sung, a 34-year-old Hyundai Motor Company employee, is engulfed in flames as he self-immolates in the southern port city of Ulsan to protest South Korea's new labour law. Chung is in critical condition with burns on 90 percent of his body, Janua
  • Alfredo Ormando, 39, who doused himself with petrol and set himself alight in St. Peter's Square January 13. Ormando, apparently protesting homosexual discrimination, then attempted to rush towards the basilica, but fell unconscious before reaching the en
  • Police pass the area in St. Peter's Square where a Sicilian man, opposed to the Vatican's ban on homosexual relations, set himself on fire January 13. Alfredo Ormando, 39, from Palermo, doused himself with petrol and set himself alight, then attempted to
  • A Tibetan Buddhist monk adjusts Tibetan flags on a car above a portrait of Tibetan activist Thupten Ngodup 29 April before taking his body away in a convoy from Lady Harding hospital. Thupten died of a heart failure after setting himself alight to protes
  • Tibetan Buddhist nun Palden Choetso sits in a house. The 35-year-old Tibetan Buddhist nun burned herself to death on a public street an hour's drive away on November 3, 2011, the latest in a string of self-immolation to protest against Chinese religious c
  • A Tibetan activist burns after setting himself on fire to protest police action to halt a hunger strike April 27. Police threw water on Thupten Ngodup to douse the flames and rushed him to hospital where one doctor said his chance of survival was 'negligi
  • Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian speaks during a trip to pay a tribute to Cheng Nan-jung (pictured top), a Taiwan independence activist, while visiting his tomb on the 15th anniversary of his death, at Chinshan outside Taipei. Cheng died in 1989 after he
  • Maksim Lyashenko sets himself on fire in front of Ukraine's parliament in Kiev. The 50-year old businessman from Kherson region in southern Ukraine has been demonstrating in front of parliament for a week, demanding the resignation of the governor in his
  • Delhi Policemen carry a man, who tried to self-immolate himself, for treatment during a protest rally in New Delhi, India. Thousands of Indian doctors and medical students protesting against a government affirmative action program for low-caste students c
  • Pravin Joshi, 30, who tried to self-immolate in protest against the Hindi film "Fanaa," receives treatment at a hospital in Jamnagar, in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Joshi set himself on fire on in the bathroom of a movie theater screening the fil
  • A police officer tries to douse the flames off Rajneesh Kumar, who tried to immolate himself in an act of protest in New Delhi, India. Kumar has been sitting in protest since May 25, 2006, to appeal for help in the release of his wife and three children w
  • Local villagers show the place where Janak Rani immolated herself on the funeral pyre of her husband Prem Narayan on Aug. 21, at Tulasipar, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The age old traditional practice, called Sati, has long been banned
  • People march through the street during a funeral ceremony for Heo Se-uk, 56, the man who set himself ablaze in front of the venue for the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) talks. The banner reads: "South Korea-U.S. FTA talks are invalid! Raise H
  • In this photo released by International Campaign for Tibet, armed police surround a Tibetan Buddhist monk named Tapey after he set himself ablaze in Aba, in China's southwest Sichuan province. Chinese state media confirmed that a Tibetan Buddhist monk had
  • A Chinese police officer (L) talks to a man who tried to self-imolate himself after putting out the fire with a fire extinguisher, along a shopping street in Chongqing. The 41-year-old man is believed to have lost all his money in the ongoing financial cr
  • Afghan woman Ghodsi, (20), who committed self-immolation and has been hospitalized since last week with 85 percent of her body covered in burns, at Herat hospital. Ghodsi was forced to marry an elder man two years ago and attempted suicide after acknowle
  • Bulgarian Rosen Markov sets himself on fire in front of the Bulgarian National Television building, to protest against the broadcast of news bulletins in the Turkish language, in central Sofia, November 10, 2009. (Reuters)
  • Indian student Yadaiah reacts as he immolates himself during a protest in Hyderabad. A student tried to set himself ablaze as fresh demonstrations erupted in southern India calling for the creation of a new state. The 19-year-old student was in critical c
  • Tunisia's President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, left, visits Mohamed Bouazizi, a young man who set himself on fire acting out of desperation after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold without a permit, at Ben Arous Burn and Trauma Centre, in
  • A picture of Mohamed Bouazizi, the local fruit vendor who set himself on fire Dec. 17, is seen on the top of a monument along with pictures of other victims killed in the clashes following his act, in the center of the town of Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, March
  • A combination photograph shows a man setting himself on fire outside a bank branch in Thessaloniki in northern Greece. The 55-year old man had entered the bank and asked for a renegotiation of his overdue loan payments on his home and business, according
  • Afghan patient Parwin, 23, a mother of three children and pregnant for three months receives medical treatment at the burn unit of Isteqlal hospital, after she committed self immolation, in Kabul. Parwin covered herself in kerosene before setting fire to
  • An exile Tibetan holds a portrait of Tsewang Norbu, 29, a Buddhist monk who died Monday after setting himself on fire in China's Sichuan province's Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture during a candle light vigil in Dharmsala, India, August 15, 2011. (AP)
  • Tibetans display portraits of people who killed themselves in self-immolation, during a protest in front of the Liberty Square in Taipei on October 19, 2011. (AFP)
  • A woman throws a white scarf over Tibetan Buddhist nun Palden Choetso as she burns on the street in Daofu, or Tawu in Tibetan, in this still image taken from video. The 35-year-old Tibetan Buddhist nun burned herself to death on the public street in the
  • Police try to douse flames on a Tibetan demonstrator after he tried to self immolate himself during a protest in front of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. Tibetan exiles on protested the deaths of several ethnic Tibetans by self immolation in Tibetan are
  • This still image allegedly shows the self-immolation of an individual along a street in Dawu, Ganzi prefecture in Sichuan province. The dramatic video footage, could not be independently verified, purportedly captures the moment a Tibetan Buddhist nun bur

Social Injustice Fuels Self-Immolation Protests

Published February 09, 2012

Self-immolation has a long history of being used as a political tool around the world. The act is one of desperation, with incidents in Asia, Eastern Europe, North Africa and the United States.<p></p> <I><b>Some of these images may be disturbing.</b></i>