BEIJING (AP) — Rights groups say a teenage girl has become the eighth Tibetan child to set herself alight to protest Chinese rule over ethnic Tibetan areas.
The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet says 17-year-old Wangchen Kyi self-immolated and died in western Qinghai province Sunday evening after calling for the long life of the Tibetan people and their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. London-based Free Tibet says the girl was 16.
The ICT says Wangchen set herself on fire on the nomadic grasslands of Zeku county, where she was later cremated. That county’s propaganda department confirmed the self-immolation Tuesday.
More than 90 ethnic Tibetans have self-immolated since February 2009 to protest what activists say are threats to their religion and culture under Chinese rule. China says it fully protects Tibetans’ rights.