Tibetan Protesters Detained Following Self Immolation

FILE - In this June 11, 1963 file photo, one of a series taken by then AP Saigon correspondent Malcom Browne, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burns himself to death on a Saigon street to protest alleged persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. Browne, acclaimed for his trenchant reporting of the Vietnam War and a photo of a Buddhist monk's suicide by fire that shocked the Kennedy White House into a critical policy re-evaluation, died Monday night, Aug. 27, 2012 at a hospital in New Hampshire, not far from his home in Thetford, Vt. He was 81. (AP Photo/Malcolm Browne)

Bystanders near the scene in Tibet where Pema Gyaltsen performed a self-immolation protest have been detained and have had their possessions confiscated, according to Tibet Watch. The 24-year-old farmer was protesting near a scene of bystanders before Chinese authorities detained them. Some of them were beaten, according to reports.

Although a number have since been released, it is not known how many are still in custody. The crowd had approached local authorities to question Pema’s arrest. Locals have reported they assumed the crowd was arrested for security reasons and would undergo interrogation.

Pema was taken to a hospital following arrest.

In central London yesterday, dozens gathered outside the Chinese Embassy to stage a vigil in solidarity with Pema Gyaltsen. Many also chanted traditional Tibetan prayers.

Self-immolation has become a common site among Tibetans protesting what they see as Chinese aggression attacking Tibetan culture.

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.