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BEIJING: A young Tibetan in southwestern China has died after setting himself on fire, rights groups have reported, marking the second self-immolation protest in a week and lifting the total to nearly 100.
London-based Free Tibet said in a statement yesterday that a 28-year-old man identified by the single name Dupchoek, died on Friday afternoon in Drachen township in the Aba Tibetan autonomous prefecture of China’s Sichuan province.
Free Tibet said that 97 Tibetans have self-immolated since February 2009 to protest against Beijing’s rule in Tibet. According to a list on the group’s website, about 75 of them have died.
Many Tibetans in China accuse the government of religious repression and eroding their culture, as the country’s majority Han ethnic group increasingly moves into historically Tibetan areas.
China rejects that, saying Tibetans enjoy religious freedom. Beijing also points to huge ongoing investment it says has brought modernisation and a better standard of living to Tibet.
International Campaign for Tibet, based in Washington, also reported the self-immolation at the same location, though identified the man by the single name of Tsering and described him as being in his twenties.