Two Tibetan cousins set fire to themselves in their village to protest Chinese rule, bringing the total number of self-immolations this week to seven, the highest since the protests began last year, a rights group said on Saturday.
The London-based group Free Tibet said cousins Tsepo, 20, and Tenzin, 25, called for independence for Tibet as they set themselves on fire on Thursday in front of a government building in their village in Biru county north of Lhasa, Tibet’s main city.
Tsepo reportedly died and Tenzin’s condition was unknown after he was taken away by authorities, Free Tibet said.
Dozens of ethnic Tibetans have set themselves on fire in heavily Tibetan regions since March 2011 to protest what activists say is Beijing’s heavy-handed rule in the region. Many have called for the return of the Dalai Lama, their exiled spiritual leader.