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China imposes cyber security re-education on Tibetans for unapproved Covid postings

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(TibetanReview.net, Oct22’22) – Outcries of outrage over brutally inefficient enforcement of Covid-19 regulations and restrictions begun in Tibet in early August are stated to have given rise to a new type of coercive Chinese government re-education campaign on Buddhist monks and nuns. They are being subjected to what is called “Internet re-education,” or “Cyber Security Re-education,” reported bitterwinter.org Oct 22.

It is a 15-day detention programme for those who had posted on social media non-official or non-authorized information about the Covid-19 pandemic or the lockdown measures imposed under it.

However, whether or not they will be released from the programme at the end of it would depend on their attitude or behaviour during their re-education.

The report said the detainees are taken to camps used for other forms of re-education as well. These are not schools as such but jails where uncooperative inmates are often beaten or tortured.

Last week, for example, 22 netizens were identified and taken to the camps for “cyber security re-education” in the Chengguan (or Municipal) district of Lhasa city, it said.

As regards the alleged “crimes” of these detainees, the report noted that they had mostly posted information on the dreaded “Covid buses” and the quarantine camps.

As regards what these are about, it bears noting that all residents of Lhasa are repeatedly tested for Covid, and receive the results on their cell phones. If they have tested positive, a red code would appear on their phones, and they, their neighbours, and their relatives should expect to be picked up early next morning or during the night itself to be bused to one of some 20 quarantine camps set up around the city. As a result, many who are not Covid-positive get infected in the camps.

Besides, people have posted about the horribleness of the conditions in the crowded quarantine camps, where hygiene is minimal and food scarce or even rotten.

While the Vice Mayor of Lhasa City made a public apology on Sep 17 for the government’s gross mishandling of the Covid measure, city authorities had made it clear that spreading on the Internet information not endorsed by the Communist Party of China is a crime, the report said.

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