Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012 update
Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012 update

The London-based rights group Free Tibet says another Tibetan has set himself on fire to protest Chinese rule, the fourth such self-immolation this week.

Free Tibet media officer Harriet Beaumont says that 24-year-old Lhamo Testen died after walking out of a restaurant and setting himself on fire in Sangchu county on Friday.

"His body has now been taken to his village, and we also have reports that there are large numbers of security personnel moving into the area from Barra township," she said.

She says it is the fourth self-immolation in the area this week, and the 10th in the past month. The large number of self-immolations has prompted Chinese police to offer cash rewards to anyone who provides information on people planning to set themselves on fire.

Beaumont says there is nothing to suggest that those planning self-immolations have involved others in their plan. She is concerned that some may be unfairly accused because of the offer.

"We have no evidence whatsoever in the last 18 months of self-immolations that there has been any prior knowledge or involvement in the planning of these acts by anybody other than the people who have set fire to themselves. So we're extremely concerned at this method, because there have been some cases where people have been convicted and given long sentences after being accused of involvement in the planning of these acts," said Beaumont.

A notice put up in Labrang by the Gannan Prefectur
A notice put up in Labrang by the Gannan Prefecture Public Security Department offering a reward to anyone who provides information about people planning to self-immolate or people who have self-immolated, Gansu Province, China.

VOA's Tibetan service reported on the offer of cash rewards Tuesday in China's Gannan prefecture, called Kanlho prefecture by Tibetans.  A photo obtained by VOA shows one notice posted on a poll.  It says police will pay $8,000 to anyone who provides information "on the people who plan, incite to carry out, control and lure people to commit self-immolation."

A translation by the International Campaign for Tibet says the notices also decry self-immolation as "an extreme action against human beings, against society" and warns would-be protesters such actions "are ungrateful of how your parents raised you."

The announcement also promises a reward of about $30,000 to anyone who gives any credible information about the region's four most recent self-immolations.

China has long-accused Tibetan exiles of self-immolating as part of a separatist struggle, denouncing them as terrorists.