A Tibetan carrying a bullet injury to his stomach region following China's violent crackdown on protests in Drango, eastern Tibet on January 23, 2012.
DHARAMSHALA, May 11: After being man hunted by Chinese security personnel for months, a Tibetan youth who had participated in an anti-China protest in Drango, eastern Tibet, stabbed himself to death on March 29.
Gonpo Rigzin, 25, had taken part in the January 23 mass protests in Drango and was apparently caught on Chinese police CCTV surveillance cameras.
According to the Dharamshala based Drango Ememrgency Committee, Gonpo Rigzin had told his family members, while being hunted down, that he would rather kill himself than get arrested and tortured by the Chinese police.
“On March 29 when the police came to arrest him, Gonpo Rigzin stabbed himself to death,” the Committee said in a release yesterday.
“Gonpo Rigzin killed himself to escape from Chinese brutality and torture.”
China continues to tighten the noose on Tibetans who had taken part in the peaceful protests in the region.
Last month, Chinese courts in eastern Tibet had sentenced 16 Tibetans to varying prison terms – from nine months to life-imprisonment, including both monks and laymen, for their ‘involvement’ in the January 23 protest.
Hundreds of Tibetans had come out on the streets in Drango on January 23, the first day of Chinese New Year, calling for Tibet’s freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. Chinese security personnel retaliated by firing indiscriminately at the unarmed demonstrators, killing and injuring scores of people.
Following the protests, Chinese authorities led a large-scale manhunt for suspected demonstrators. In one instance, Chinese security personnel shot down and killed two brothers in their hideout in the nearby hills of Drango.
The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration has said that since the peaceful protests in Drango, China has maintained a “strict and repressive” presence in the region.
“Since the peaceful protest against the Chinese government in Kham Drango, Chinese military personnels have maintained a strict and repressive presence in the area,” CTA said. “Scores of Tibetan monks and lay persons were arrested arbitrarily during the protests and sentenced to various prison terms.”