Two teenagers have died after setting themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule and policies in Tibet. Their deaths bring the total deaths to 40 out of 51 immolations since 2009.
The Tibetan teenagers, Lobsang Kalsang and Damchoek, were 18 and 17 years old, respectively. The pair died after setting themselves on fire on Monday morning. Lobsang Kalsang was a monk and Damchoek a former monk.
This week's tragic protest took place outside the Kirti monastery in Ngaba, which has been the site of many self-immolations. The monastery is surrounded by heavy security as the Chinese forces attempt to stifle dissent and religious freedom.
While the majority of those self-immolating are young men, Tibetans from all walks of life have reached the same decision to set themselves alight in protest. In the last three years, self-immolators have included a nomad in his late 50s, a 38-year old farmer, a senior lama in his 40s, four mothers, a female student and three nuns.
An ongoing tragedy
The Guardian has created an interactive picture map of all (but the 3 most recent) self-immolators, and their reasons for doing so:
With foreign media banned from the region, much of the Chinese crackdown on the Tibetan people is hidden from the rest of the world. Avaaz has launched a petition calling on world leaders to send an independent high-level mission to the area and to speak out against the ongoing repression.
Sources: Tibet Network, Guardian, Telegraph, Save Tibet, BBC