'Human torch' protest is stifled by censors
China's "Great Firewall" has been in overdrive over the last three weeks in an effort to prevent information leaking out about a man who apparently set himself alight in front of a portrait of Chairman Mao in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.
The incident reportedly took place on 21 October, but no mention has been made of it in the press or on the internet, nor has it been referred to on Weibo, China's version of the banned microblogging site Twitter.
A Daily Telegraph reader sent a series of holiday photographs of the incident to the newspaper yesterday, purportedly showing the man just after the fire had been extinguished.
It is thought that the victim was protesting at a recent court decision. The Beijing Public Security Bureau confirmed the incident took place, and said the man had survived the attempted immolation.
Tiananmen Square was the focal point of pro-democracy demonstrations across China between April and June 1989. These were crushed by the People's Liberation Army. Now, people rarely succeed in using Tiananmen Square to protest. Security is tight at all times.
Self-immolation is traditionally used as a last resort by political protesters or by people upset that the government has not addressed their complaints.
Since March, 11 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns have set themselves on fire, and six have died.
In an unrelated case, but one arising from a similar sense of powerlessness in the face of authority, an 81-year-old woman died after setting herself alight in her bedroom earlier this month as a demolition team led by local officials were trying to knock down her home.
- 1 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
General Election 2015: Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind as he casts a line to the disaffected of Grimsby
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...