Beijing scolded for its Tibetan policy

Oct. 12, 2011 at 10:41 AM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S State Department said it had human rights concerns about the growing trend of Tibetan protesters burning themselves to death.

Two former monks at the Kirti monastery, set themselves on fire in Sichuan province to protest China's occupation of Tibet. One of the former monks, a 19-year-old, was declared dead at the scene, Tibetan activist agency Free Tibet said.

The group said there have been seven self-immolations in the region since March.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said Washington was "very concerned about this trend."

She said Washington has "repeatedly" called on Beijing to respect the rights of Tibetans to express themselves and to do more to address regional tensions.

Human Rights Watch called on Beijing to end "excessive restrictions" in the area and lift "heavy-handed security measures imposed on other lay communities and monasteries in the region."

The rights group said it had documented reports of violent security raids, arbitrary detentions of Tibetan monks and constant surveillance of religious activity in the region.

"Security measures designed to curtail the right to free expression, association, and religious belief in Tibetan monasteries are not legitimate," Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm