Earlier today, photos began circulating on a dissident/activist website claiming that a self-immolation took place in Tiananmen square as this year’s National People’s Congress entered session. The photos are undated and cannot be confirmed, but South China Morning Post has also run a story about a ‘disturbance’ on the square.
SCMP talked to witnesses who said:
“I had a glance that four, five men trying to put out a fire,” said a woman from Jilin province. “It all happened so quickly.”
“I heard it was a woman around 40 who burned herself,” she said. “She was alive when they took her away.“
The photos were taken by Wang Jing, who claims that she uploaded the images but then police made her delete them from her phone. The incident is reported to have occurred at 11:00 this morning, but Twitter-ers currently on the square say that there is no evidence of an immolation having taken place.
A similar event to what has been described occurred in 2011, when a man burned himself in the square. It is possible that these images are rehashed from a previous event and, until additional sources can be confirmed, it remains unclear exactly what happened.