(TibetanReview.net, May07’20) – Up to 5,000 Tibetan families in the prefecture-level city in Tibet that is home to Mt Everest, the world’s highest peak, had been investigated by the Chinese authorities about their family ties in Nepal, India and other places, said London-based Tibet Campaign group Free Tibet May 6, citing its research wing Tibet Watch.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 households in Dingri County of Shigatse City, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), were investigated with the purported objective of seeking out destabilizing influences.
The investigation included forcing Tibetan residents to register their names and the identification numbers of their WeChat online social media accounts.
The Chinese government was stated to target individuals and social groups it considers to be potential destabilising influences, and to label them as “black categories” or “underworld forces,” with the families blacklisted thus being kept under constant surveillance.
The group noted that in Feb 2018, authorities in Tibet launched a campaign called “fight against underworld forces,” under which officials were given sweeping powers and saw many Tibetans arrested.
The full number of those arrested under the campaign remains unknown. However, official figures released in the TAR last January already put the number of convictions at close to 400, the group said.