A young Tibetan monk has died in what is the second self-immolation protest reported this month, according to US-backed Radio Free Asia and NGO Free Tibet.

Jamyang Losal, who was around 22-years-old, set himself on fire at around 5am on Friday in the Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the northwest Chinese province of Qinghai.

An unnamed source told RFA that the monk carried out his protest near the Jianzha People’s Hospital to protest the government’s “repressive policies.”

Jamyang Losal
Photo: RFA.

They said that his body had been cremated by the authorities, who refused to hand over the remains to his family.

Jamyang Losal was previously detained for over ten days for sharing a photo of the Dalai Lama on WeChat, the source said. He was a practising monk at Gyerteng Monastery in Jianzha County.

Jamyang Losal’s protest was the second self-immolation by a Tibetan to be reported this month, and the fourth this year.

Chakdor Kyab, a 16-year-old student, set himself on fire at the beginning of May in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province. The student, whose status was previously unknown, died on the day of the demonstration, another source told RFA on Thursday.

Self immolations are a common form of protest against Chinese rule. According to the International Campaign for Tibet, 150 Tibetans have self-immolated since February 2009, including Jamyang Losal.

“Jamyang Losel is the fourth Tibetan in three months to have set himself on fire in protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet,” John Jones, the Campaigns and Communications Manager of London-based NGO Free Tibet said.

“While we should be cautious about talking about a renewed wave of self-immolations across Tibet, these numbers cannot be ignored, just as the grievances that motivate self-immolation protests cannot be ignored.”

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.