A campaign by authorities in the Golog (in Chinese, Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture purportedly targeting organized crime has led to harassment and strict surveillance of Tibetans with a history of political activism, sources in the region told RFA’s Tibetan service.
“At the beginning of May, Chinese authorities have launched a campaign in all six counties under Golog. Under the name of rooting out all black and evil forces, the Chinese have targeted illegal gambling and the formation of grassroots organizations that solicit money from the people,” said a one source in the region.
Under the pretext of implementing the policy, the source said, “Chinese authorities are causing a nuisance and harassment to former Tibetan political prisoners, and those Tibetans suspected of being involved in political activities by placing them under strict surveillance.”
Golog lies in the historic region of Tibet known to Tibetans as Amdo, incorporated into northwestern China’s Qinghai Province.
A second source in Golog, told RFA that “at present the campaign against criminal gangs is being enforced in full swing at all counties in Golog.’
“Since the beginning of this month, seven people from Gade (Gande) county and seven people from Darlag (Dali) county have been arrested,” said the source, who said it was “not convenient to speak in detail” about the cases or the campaign.
The first source told RFA the campaign imposes strict curbs on local Tibetans’ ability to gather or share information on social media..
“If any association has more than ten people, they must seek permission through registering at the local village and up to the county level,” said the source.
“Local Tibetans are instructed not to share any political news related to Macao, Hong Kong, Tibet, and China via any media or web platform,” the sourced added.
“The authorities urged local people to avoid randomly talking to any foreigners from America and the West,” said the source.
“The authorities say: ‘When foreigners ask any questions, just remain silent and pretend not to know anything.’”
A report published last week by the Dharamsala, India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said that new policies and regulations have led to “an increased restriction on human rights and lives of the Tibetan people.”
The report specifically cited the campaign against “crime” and “black and evil forces,” saying it resulted in the detention, arrest, and torture of human rights and environmental activists and of ordinary Tibetans promoting the use of the Tibetan language.
Reported by Kunsang Tenzin. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Paul Eckert.