Chinese State Media Blames America For Tibet's Self-Immolation Epidemic

Tibet Self ImmolationIn this image made from amateur video footage released by the Tibetan Youth Congress, a Tibetan runs in flames in his self-immolation to protest against Chinese rule, on a street in Yushu prefecture in China’s Qinghai province Wednesday, June 20, 2012.

Photo: AP

In the last few years there has been a huge increase in the number of young Tibetans who, protesting Chinese rule, have set themselves on fire. By last count there were almost 100 acts of self-immolation since 2009.

At this point it’s becoming difficult for China to ignore the protesters, who accuse Beijing of religious suppression and the exile of Tibetan leader the Dailai Lamai.

So, Beijing has begun to be proactive — this week it announced that two men would be placed on trial for “intentional homicide” for encouraging an act of self-immolation.

It’s not just a legal battle, however — there’s also a media war.

On Monday national news channel China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast a documentary on the self-immolations that it claimed had been “created through in-depth research and interviews”.

Not content with just showing the documentary in Mandarin, the broadcaster is showing the documentary in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian, according to the Global Times.

One person watching the documentary is Angus Walker, China correspondent for Britain’s ITV news channel. His tweets describe the documentary:

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