July 20, 2006

Man sets self on fire in China’s Tiananmen: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese man set himself on fire in
Beijing's central Tiananmen Square on Thursday to protest not
being paid, Xinhua news agency said.

The man was being treated in hospital.

Tiananmen Square, the symbolic political heart of China and
the site of the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy protesters, is a
magnet for protest and security there is tight.

Thursday's incident occurred at about 8.40 a.m. (0040 GMT)
and the flames were soon extinguished, Xinhua said in a brief

The man, 53, was from the central province of Hubei, it

He came to Beijing "to appeal to the higher authority for
helping him get back delayed salary," Xinhua said.

The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and
Democracy said the man was a farmer, but had few other details.

In 2001, five practitioners of the banned spiritual
movement Falun Gong set themselves on fire in Tiananmen square.

Thousands of Chinese make their way to Beijing each year to
petition the central government after failing to get redress at
the local or provincial level.