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Tibetan farmer self-immolates in China: campaigners

AFP  |  Beijing 

A young Tibetan farmer has self-immolated in southwest in protest against China's presence in Tibet, campaigners said, the first Tibetan to set themselves on fire in 2017.

Pema Gyaltsen set himself ablaze on Saturday outside a Buddhist temple in Sichuan province, the Tibetan in exile in said in a statement, adding that the unmarried 24-year-old "called for the return of His Holiness the to and for freedom in Tibet".

The group said he was the 146th Tibetan to self-immolate since 2009.

Contacted by AFP today, local police said they were unable to confirm any information on the case.

Rights group Free said Gyaltsen "was unable to complete the self-immolation before the police arrived and looked to have been alive when he was taken away".

If he survived, Gyaltsen would "most likely face harsh treatment in detention with no guarantee of medical treatment, followed by a long prison sentence," the group said in a statement late yesterday.

Beijing says its troops "peacefully liberated" in 1951, but many Tibetans accuse the central of religious repression and eroding their culture.

Tibetan spiritual leader the fled into exile after a failed uprising in 1959.

Tibetan monks within have reported a campaign of intimidation targeting the family and friends of those who set themselves on fire.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 20 2017. 19:42 IST