The public have been asked to identify Tibetans who endanger “national unity” or criticise the Communist Party.
Authorities in Tibet issued a notice this month offering a reward of up to 600,000 yuan (around 85,000 US dollars) to citizens who report information about the spread of “illegal” content in the region, Tibet Watch has said. The notice applies to the areas of central and western Tibet which are governed as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
The notice titled “Measures for Reporting and Rewarding on the Campaign for Eliminating Pornography and Illegal Content in the Tibet Autonomous Region” promises cash rewards to citizens who report on illegal activities.
The government has promised to pay between 1,000 to 600,000 yuan for information on activities considered to be illegal in the notice.
The notice said the personal information of informants will be kept confidential and offenders they report “shall be held accountable according to law and discipline.''
Citizen informants are able to report information to the government by phoning, sending emails, letters or faxes and the amount paid depends on what the information relates to.
Despite the title of the notification, it gives a board definition for what it considers criminal activity making abuse of the law possible. It could be used to attack citizens who challenge the authorities, Tibet Watch said.
The notice lists possible offences including, “endangering national unity, sovereignty and integrity, for example, advocating ‘Great Tibet’, ‘a high degree of autonomy’ and ‘the Middle Way’.”
It also said that to “oppose the basic principles stipulated in the constitution by attacking and defaming the Communist Party and Party leaders” is another offence.
The list of crimes mixes these activities with a couple of more conventional crimes, such as the promotion of gambling and violence, and instigating others to commit crimes.
The news comes following reports of a similar notice issued on 28 February 2019 offering financial rewards of up to 42,750 US dollars to those reporting illegal online activities in the TAR.
That notice banned the use of network communication tools to “form illegal organizations for ‘public welfare,’ ‘environmental protection,’ ‘education,’ ‘medical,’ and ‘poverty alleviation.’”
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