Photo: Freebase/Public domain
Politics & History

Self-Immolations as Protests  

Grayson Titan
3k views 75 items
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.
1
Alain Escoffier Dec. at 28 (1949-1977)
Protesting Communism. Feb 10, 1977
2
Dec. at 40 (1958-1998)
Protesting Roman Catholic Church's condemnation of homosexuality. Jan 13, 1998
3
Alice Herz Dec. at 83 (1882-1965)
Protesting Vietnam War. Mar 16, 1965
4
Antanas Kalinauskas
Protesting Communist rule in Lithuania. Aug 10, 1976
5
Artin Penik Dec. at 61 (1921-1982)
Protesting ASALA attack at Esenbo?a International Airport. Aug 10, 1982
6
Chan I-hua Dec. at 32 (1957-1989)
Protesting Blocking of funeral procession of Cheng Nan-jung. May 19, 1989
7
Cheng Nan-jung Dec. at 42 (1947-1989)
Protesting For Taiwan independence. Apr 7, 1989
8
Chinnasami
Protesting For preservation of the Tamil language. Jan 25, 1964
9
Choepel
Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Oct 7, 2011
10
Dawa Tsering age 84
Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Oct 25, 2011
11
Eleftheriya Fortulaki
Protesting Treatment of the Kurds in Turkey. Mar 28, 2006
12
Evžen Plocek
Protesting Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Apr 2, 1969
13
Florence Beaumont
Protesting Vietnam War. Oct 15, 1967
14
George Winne, Jr.
Protesting Vietnam War. May 10, 1970
15
Gregory Levey age 41
Protesting First Gulf War. Feb 18, 1991
16
Hartmut Gründler Dec. at 47 (1930-1977)
Protesting Atomic policy. Nov 16, 1977
17
Heo Se-uk Dec. at 54 (1953-2007)
Protesting South Korea – United States Free Trade Agreement. Apr 1, 2007
18
Dec. at 54 (1940-1994)
Protesting Women's rights after the Iranian Revolution. Feb 21, 1994
19
Huguette Gaulin Dec. at 28 (1944-1972)
20
Israfil Shiri
Protesting Rejection of his asylum claim. Aug 27, 2003
21
Dec. at 21 (1948-1969)
Protesting Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Jan 16, 1969
22
Jan Zajíc Dec. at 19 (1950-1969)
Protesting Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Feb 25, 1969
23
Jeon Tae-il Dec. at 22 (1948-1970)
Protesting For more robust labour laws and the government's opposition to reform. Nov 21, 1970
24
Joseba Elosegi Dec. at 75 (1915-1990)
Protesting Bombing of Guernica in 1937. Sep 19, 1970
25
Kathy Change Dec. at 46 (1950-1996)
Protesting For directly democratic community-based self-government. Oct 22, 1996