By Karen Diep
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
BEIJING, China – On Thursday, authorities offered up to a $32,000 reward for information revolving around the series of self-immolations in China’s Tibetan-inhabited region, Gannan. Furthermore, authorities anticipate awarding $7,7000 for information regarding planned immolations.
According to BBC, Chinese authorities issued a notice stating that the immolations have “seriously impacted social stability and harmony as well as people’s ability to live and work.”
The note further stated, “Anyone who reports and informs the legal authorities on the people who plan, incite to carry out, control and lure people to commit self-immolation will be awarded 50,000 yuan.” Furthermore, anyone is able to provide information regarding the “black hands,” those behind four recent self-immolations, will be receive 200,000 yuan.
Since February 2009, approximately 60 ethnic Tibetans, many of whom were nuns and monks, have committed self-immolation to protest China’s rule in Tibet. Moreover, the recent “black hands” incident occurred near the Labrang monastery.
As China’s dominant ethnic group, Han, moves into historically Tibetan areas, countless Tibetans accuse the Chinese government of eroding their culture and suppressing their religious freedom.
“This fourth self-immolation in the space of a week underlines that protests in Tibet are continuing and intensifying. We can only expect this to continue until Tibetans are granted the freedom they demand,” shared Free Tibet’s Stephani Brigden.
On Wednesday, the government attributed the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Dalai Lama, for promoting self-immolation. However, according to AFP, the Dalai Lama has not denounced such acts and prefers to remain “neutral.”
For further information, please see:
Examiner – China offers rewards for information about immolations – 26 Oct. 2012
Hindustan Times – Self-immolation: China police offer reward for info on “planned” suicides – 26 Oct. 2012
AFC – China offers rewards to expose Tibetan immolations – 25 Oct. 2012
BBC – Tibet immolations: China offers rewards for information – 25 Oct. 2012