Lhasa: The Lhasa Municipality Public Security Bureau has offered rewards for Tibetans reporting on crimes against "state security" to "build an iron wall of stability," according to a Washington-based advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet.. The local authorities offered up to 300,000 Chinese Yuan (USD 44,840) as a financial incentive to Tibetans in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, just ahead of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's birthday on July 6.
According to the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), eight out of the 12 points listed in the notice as the "scope of clue reporting" are directly related to Tibetan activism, which the Chinese government defines as "illegal and criminal activities."
This can include reading or speaking about, for instance, foreign newspaper articles or broadcasts about Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, the group said. "In the 12 points detailing the scope of reporting to the bureau, eight points are directly related to what can be considered as a protected expression of thought and opinion," ICT said.
While point 7 explicitly states that online activities connected to "Tibet independence" should be considered a crime, other forms of Tibetan expression of opinion and thought in the form of speech, writing, audio or video materials, wearing flags and other souvenirs are also listed as crimes relevant for reporting to the authorities.
"The Chinese authorities in Tibet are using tactics to turn Tibetans against each other by creating further fear and distrust among families, friends
and neighbours. These rewards represent measures of a totalitarian system, deeply affecting the lives of Tibetans and criminalising peaceful dissent and activities that are protected by international law."
The Public Security Bureau explicitly cites the laws and regulations of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Tibet Autonomous Region as bases for issuing the public notice.
"Depending on the 'significance' of a report to the authorities, the PSB offers financial rewards to informants with an incremental range from 3,000 (USD 448) to 300,000 (USD 44,840) Chinese yuan with protection to the informant," ICT said.
Information supplied by ICT
By Team TRC