NEW DELHI — Indian police detained 13 Tibetan students on Sunday at a protest outside the Chinese embassy in New Delhi after two men reportedly set themselves on fire at a monastery in southwest China.
About 20 young protesters from India’s large Tibetan exile community climbed lamp posts and raised anti-Beijing banners before the police moved in and bundled them into vans.
“They were protesting to highlight that seven men have set themselves on fire this year in self-immolation attempts against Chinese repression and China’s intensified military crackdown,” activist Tsering Tashi told AFP.
“We youngsters want to show the world that we will never give up fighting,” Tashi, coordinator of the Delhi chapter of the Students for a Free Tibet group, said.
A Delhi police official, who declined to be named, said that 13 students including seven girls were detained at the demonstration against the Chinese government.
Tibetan rights groups said that two young men set themselves on fire on Friday near a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in southwest China.
The latest incidents take the number of people reported to have set themselves ablaze to seven this year.
The two were former monks from Sichuan province’s Kirti monastery, the scene of repeated protests against perceived religious oppression, the London-based Free Tibet group said in statement.
It said there were unconfirmed reports that one had died.
Many Tibetans inside and outside China are angry about what they view as increasing domination by the country’s majority Han ethnic group.
China, however, says that Tibetan living standards have improved with billions of dollars in Chinese investment.
In August, China jailed three monks for helping a young monk kill himself in March, raising criticism from the United States and rights groups.