Self-immolation refers to setting oneself on fire, often as a form of protest or for the purposes of martyrdom or suicide. It has centuries-long traditions in some cultures, while in modern times it has become a type of radical political protest.
A new wave of self-immolation protests is currently ongoing in the Middle East and North Africa, with at least 14 recorded incidents. These actions have helped inspire the Arab Spring, including the 2010–2011 Tunisian revolution, the main catalyst of which was the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, the 2011 Algerian protests (including many self-immolations in Algeria), and the 2011 Egyptian revolution and there have also been self-immolation protests in Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, and Syria. In 2011 Yenesew Gebre, an Ethiopian high school teacher, committed suicide from immolation in protest toward the Zenawe regime and its campaigns of oppression against the Ethiopian population.
Early 2011, Tibetans have resorted to self-immolation to protest Chinese rule. 16 Tibetans have immolated themselves in protest since 2011. (source)