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Tibetan nun commits protest suicide

Oct. 18, 2011 at 12:38 PM
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LONDON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A Tibetan nun called for religious freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama before she set herself on fire and died, a rights group said.

Self-immolations among Tibetans are on the rise. Tenzin Wangmo, a 20-year-old Tibetan nun, died after setting herself on fire in Sichuan province to protest China's action in the region. The rights group Free Tibet said hers was the seventh such incident in the region this year.

Free Tibet noted that protests in Tibet are escalating. The organization said that, in a separate incident, two Tibetans were shot by Chinese security personnel during a demonstration. Their injuries weren't apparently life-threatening.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said in a statement that the level of unrest in Tibet, as well as the frequency of self-immolations, was unprecedented.

"The acts of self-immolation are not taking place in isolation, protests have been reported in the surrounding region and calls for wider protests are growing," she said.

"China has already responded with force in one instance we have grave concerns that greater force may be deployed if protests spread."

The nun was the first woman to commit a protest suicide in Tibet. Free Tibet notes Tibetan activists have initiated a call for action for Wednesday.

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