Self-Immolations as Protests People
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Self-Immolations as Protests

A list of people who lit themselves on fire as a form of activism or protest, typically for political reasons. "Self-immolation" is the technical term for setting one's self on fire, though it is typically used when the purpose of the act is a protest or for martyrdom, as opposed to insanity or other personal reasons. (The term "immolate" comes from a Latin word that implies ritual sacrifice.)

Though the practice rose to international prominence during the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s, when images of Buddhist monks immolating themselves introduced the concept to the larger world, the act of self-immolation in protest goes back hundreds of years in some cultures, particularly those of India. (There are also accounts of Russian martyrs committing what was called "fire baptism" in the 17th Century, and scattered reports of Jesuit priests in France engaging in the behavior at roughly the same time.)

This list contains all self-immolation acts reported by the media from 1963 until the present, all for political or activist purposes.

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  1. 1

    Alain Escoffier Died at 28 (1949-1977) Protesting Communism. Feb 10, 1977

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  2. 2

    Died at 40 (1958-1998) Protesting Roman Catholic Church's condemnation of homosexuality. Jan 13, 1998

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  3. 3

    Alice Herz Died at 83 (1882-1965) Protesting Vietnam War. Mar 16, 1965

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  4. 4

    Antanas Kalinauskas Protesting Communist rule in Lithuania. Aug 10, 1976

  5. 5

    Artin Penik Died at 61 (1921-1982) Protesting ASALA attack at Esenbo?a International Airport. Aug 10, 1982

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  6. 6

    Chan I-hua Died at 32 (1957-1989) Protesting Blocking of funeral procession of Cheng Nan-jung. May 19, 1989

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  7. 7

    Cheng Nan-jung Died at 42 (1947-1989) Protesting For Taiwan independence. Apr 7, 1989

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  8. 8

    Chinnasami Protesting For preservation of the Tamil language. Jan 25, 1964

  9. 9

    Choepel Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Oct 7, 2011

  10. 10

    Dawa Tsering age 80 Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Oct 25, 2011

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  11. 11

    Eleftheriya Fortulaki Protesting Treatment of the Kurds in Turkey. Mar 28, 2006

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  12. 12

    Evžen Plocek Protesting Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Apr 2, 1969

  13. 13

    Florence Beaumont Protesting Vietnam War. Oct 15, 1967

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  14. 14

    George Winne, Jr. Protesting Vietnam War. May 10, 1970

  15. 15

    Gregory Levey age 37 Protesting First Gulf War. Feb 18, 1991

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  16. 16

    Hartmut Gründler Died at 47 (1930-1977) Protesting Atomic policy. Nov 16, 1977

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  17. 17

    Heo Se-uk Died at 54 (1953-2007) Protesting South Korea – United States Free Trade Agreement. Apr 1, 2007

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  18. 18

    Homa Darabi Died at 54 (1940-1994) Protesting Women's rights after the Iranian Revolution. Feb 21, 1994

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  19. 19

    Huguette Gaulin Died at 28 (1944-1972)

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  20. 20

    Israfil Shiri Protesting Rejection of his asylum claim. Aug 27, 2003

  21. 21

    Died at 21 (1948-1969) Protesting Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Jan 16, 1969

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  22. 22

    Jan Zajíc Died at 19 (1950-1969) Protesting Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Feb 25, 1969

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  23. 23

    Jeon Tae-il Died at 22 (1948-1970) Protesting For more robust labour laws and the government's opposition to reform. Nov 21, 1970

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  24. 24

    Joseba Elosegi Died at 75 (1915-1990) Protesting Bombing of Guernica in 1937. Sep 19, 1970

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  25. 25

    Kathy Change Died at 46 (1950-1996) Protesting For directly democratic community-based self-government. Oct 22, 1996

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  26. 26

    Kayang Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Oct 7, 2011

  27. 27

    Kelsang Wangchuk Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Oct 3, 2011

  28. 28

    Died at 22 (1948-1970) Protesting Greek military junta of 1967–1974. Sep 19, 1970

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  29. 29

    Kumar Muthukumar Protesting Killing of the Sri Lankan Tamils. Jan 29, 2009

  30. 30

    Liviu Cornel Babe? Protesting Communist rule in Romania. Mar 2, 1989

  31. 31

    Lobsang Kelsang Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Sep 26, 2011

  32. 32

    Lobsang Kunchok Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Sep 26, 2011

  33. 33

    Died at 52 (1954-2006) Protesting War in Iraq. Nov 3, 2006

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  34. 34

    Marton Moyses Protesting Communist rule in Romania. Feb 13, 1970

  35. 35

    Mohamed Bouazizi Died at 27 (1984-2011) Protesting Corruption by dictatorship government. Dec 17, 2010

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  36. 36

    Mohsen Bouterfif Protesting Unemployment and housing. Jan 16, 2011

  37. 37

    Musa Mamut Protesting Persecution of Crimean Tatars. Jun 23, 1978

  38. 38

    Necla Co?kun Protesting Arrest of Abdullah Öcalan. Feb 16, 1999

  39. 39

    Nh?t Chi Mai Protesting Vietnam War. May 16, 1967

  40. 40

    Norbu Damdrul Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Oct 15, 2011

  41. 41

    Died at 32 (1933-1965) Protesting Vietnam War. Nov 2, 1965

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  42. 42

    Oleksa Hirnyk Died at 66 (1912-1978) Protesting Communist rule in Ukraine. Jan 21, 1978

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  43. 43

    Oskar Brüsewitz Died at 47 (1929-1976) Protesting Communist rule in East Germany. Aug 22, 1976

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  44. 44

    Palden Choetso Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Nov 3, 2011

  45. 45

    Died at 61 (1920-1981) Protesting Taxes. Mar 21, 1981

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  46. 46

    Pravin Joshi Protesting Screening of Fanaa. Jun 11, 2006

  47. 47

    Rajiv Goswami Protesting Reservation in India. Sep 19, 1990

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  48. 48

    Ramiro Guillén Tapia Protesting Local government in the city of Xalapa. Oct 1, 2008

  49. 49

    Reinhold Elstner Died at 75 (1920-1995) Protesting Demonization of the German soldiers after World War II. Apr 25, 1995

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  50. 50

    Rigzin Phuntsog Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Mar 16, 2011

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