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Lhasa police offering up to nearly US$45,000 rewards for ‘state security crime’ tip-offs

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(TibetanReview.net, Jul09’22) – Police in Chinese ruled Tibet’s capital Lhasa have promised rewards of up to 300,000 Yuan ($44,840) to any Tibetan who reports on so-called crimes against state security, the purpose being to “build an iron wall of stability,” said Washington-based Tibet advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) Jul 8. The maximum reward offered by the Lhasa Municipality Public Security Bureau (PSB) is three times higher than that promised by China’s Ministry of State Security on Jun 6 for citizens nationwide who report on actions deemed a threat to national security as reported by Reuters Jun 7 and the scmp.com Jun 8, citing China’s official Legal Daily.

Much of the focus of the Lhasa announcement, which was made on Jul 4 – just ahead of the 87th birthday of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama on Jul 6 – directly focused on Tibet-related activities. The Jun 6 announcement by Beijing was reported to be meant to ramp up law enforcement ahead of China’s twice-a-decade national congress of the party to be held later this year.

Eight of the 12 “illegal and criminal activities” listed in the announcement’s “scope of clue reporting” are seen to be directly related to Tibetan activism. This can include something as innocuous as reading or speaking about, for instance, foreign newspaper articles or broadcasts about Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

ICT notes that 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 of flags and other souvenirs are also listed as crimes relevant for reporting to the authorities.

Interestingly, the Lhasa PSB announcement does not seem to mention the nationwide Ministry of State Security announcement of Jun 6. Rather, it has explicitly cites the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Anti-Terrorism Law of the PRC, the Public Security Administration Punishment Law of the PRC, as well as other laws and regulations of the PRC and the Tibet Autonomous Region as bases for issuing the public notice.

Depending on the “significance” of a report to the authorities, the Lhasa PSB offers financial rewards to informants with an incremental range from 3,000 ($448) to 300,000 ($44,840) Chinese yuan with protection to the informant (Jǔbào rén).

On the other hand, the nationwide Ministry of State Security announcement of Jun 6 said Citizens could get “spiritual rewards”, in the form of certificates, or “material rewards” of cash from 10,000 yuan to more than 100,000 yuan, depending on the value of the tip-off.

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