Monk Subjected to Detention and Torture Due to His Connection with 2013 Self-Immolation

Monk Subjected to Detention and Torture Due to His Connection with 2013 Self-Immolation
Tibet by Jack L on Flickr in 2018



Fleur Harmsen


Tibet and Human Rights Researcher,


Global Human Rights Defence.



Tseta, a 25 year old Tibetan monk, was subjected to arbitrary detention for seven month a few weeks after Tenzin Sherab died as a result of self-immolation, protesting the Chinese occupation of the Tibetan plateau. Tenzin Sherab died in May 2013 in Chumarled (Ch: Qumalai) County, Kyegu (Ch: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in the Tibetan province of Kham.

Tseta was subjected to beatings, torture and inhuman treament during his denttion period and was forced to plead guilty for making the information about Tenzin’s self-immolation publlic. Tseta stated that Tenzin’s self-immolation was a political act against the occupation, while the local Chinese authorities reported that Tenzin died by suicide after his girlfriend and mother of his daughter ended their relationship. The authorities thus claimed that Tseta was “distorting suicide as self-immolation”. 

Self-immolation has been recurrent in Tibet since its occupation by China. China has been punishing those individuals who were considered as “aiding or inciting” individuals to self-immolate.

China’s incarceration and treatment of Tseta is seen to violate the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Indeed, the arbitrary incarceration of Tseta violates article 9 of the UDHR that writes that no one shall be deprived of their liberty without due process, legal assistance, access to courts and without legal basis. In addition, Tseta has been subjugated to beatings and torture, amounting thus to a violation of the CAT in the meaning of article 1 of the convention. In this regard, China is seen to have violated international Human Rights law. 


Sources and further reading:


Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy. (2022, July 10). Monk disciplinarian detained in connection with 2013 self-immolation tortured in undisclosed location. Retrieved August 11th, 2022 from: