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China collecting data on exiles from their families in Tibet in information control move

(TibetanReview.net, Jul31’21) – Chinese authorities in Tibet have ordered Tibetan families to turn over the names and other personal information about their relatives living in exile communities, said the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jul 30. Those found failing do so are said to face denial of promised state benefits such as land and housing.

But those who complied were denied the benefits nevertheless, the report said, apparently for the “crime” of having relatives living abroad.

Families are said to be required to give not only their own personal details but also the names, photos, and occupation of their relatives living abroad, as well as the duration of their stay in India.

The campaign was stated to have been launched in Apr 2021 in the border county of Dingri, which is home to Mt Everest and the route taken by many Tibetans in the past fleeing persecution in their Chinese occupied homeland.

Quoting an anonymous source, the report said families that complied with the order were visited by Chinese officials 15 days later to confiscate their mobile phones.

“And despite having given the authorities all the information they asked for, they were denied the benefits they were promised anyway,” the source was quoted as saying.

The report said the campaign was underway in other parts of Tibet as well, including Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu) Prefecture in northern Tibet Autonomous Region and Lithang (Litang) County in Kardze (Ganzi) Prefecture of Sichuan Province.

Pema Gyal, a researcher at Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, has said the purpose is to stop the flow of news about protests and other politically sensitive information from Tibet.

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