Chinese Officials Will Pay for Tibet Immolation Tip-Offs
By Jack Phillips On October 25, 2012 @ 7:57 pm In Democracy & Human Rights | No Comments
Chinese police in a Tibetan area in Gansu Province, where many self-immolations have taken place in recent days, are offering as much as $8,000 for information about Tibetans who are planning to set themselves on fire.
As many as 58 Tibetans, according to some accounts, have set themselves on fire since 2009 to protest against the perceived destruction of their culture, religion, and way of life at the hands of Chinese authorities.
The reward notice was sent out on Sunday. It said, “Anyone who reports and informs the legal authorities on the people who plan, incite to carry out, control and lure people to commit self-immolation will be awarded 50,000 RMB,” according to the International Campaign for Tibet, which posted the notice online. The amount is around slightly over $8,000.
The notices were posted in Gansu Province’s Gannan prefecture and police confirmed with the news agency that they put them up.
People who give authorities information on those who organized the four most recent self-immolations will be rewarded as much as 200,000 yuan (about $32,000), the notice added.
Tibet’s government-in-exile has said that Tibetans inside China should not set themselves on fire, saying that there is a “small population and each life is precious.”
The International Campaign for Tibet said there is “an intense military buildup in the town of Labrang and Labrang Tashikyil monastery” in Gansu Province, one of the most influential and largest in the Tibetan region.
Two days ago, a man who sold bread outside the monastery set himself on fire, just a day after another carried out a self-immolation.
Mary Beth Markey, who heads the Tibetan rights group, said that the language on the tip-off notices “is consistent with the absence of official acknowledgement of policies or practices that have assuredly contributed to the 58 self-immolations in Tibet since February 2009.”
“Instead officials continue to characterize the Tibetan self-immolations as imitative, criminal, or misguided acts of ‘terrorism-in-disguise,” she continued.
The Central Tibetan Administration made similar comments earlier this week.
It said the “systematic repression of their freedom of religion and human rights, destruction of Tibetan language, culture and environment, and assimilation of Tibetan nationality through induced massive influx of Chinese population into Tibet” is triggering the immolations.
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