Recently-obtained copy of Chinese directive:

  • Offers minimum cash reward of 5,000 yuan to informants
  • Threatens Tibetans with imprisonment for so-called ‘separatist’ activities
  • Warns against using the internet, phone or social networks to share information about protests

An official Chinese government directive in eastern Tibet where numerous protests – including by self-immolation —have taken place calls on the public to inform on individuals engaged in “splittism,” warns that officials will “severely crack down” on Tibetans who engage in these activities, and aims to curtail information from leaving Tibet. The directive was posted publicly throughout all eight counties of Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province (Tibetan area of Amdo), according to Tibetan exile sources who are in possession of an original copy. The public directive, issued in Tibetan and Chinese, was reportedly posted on March 9, 2012, one day before many Tibetans observe the anniversary of their Uprising Day in 1959. Original official Chinese documents, even those publicly posted, rarely make it out of Tibet.

The directive suggests that international calls on the Chinese government, including by the United States government, to re-assess its policies in Tibet and address the underlying grievances of protesters through dialogue with Tibetans are being ignored in favor of a hard-line approach. While harsh punishment – detention, torture, imprisonment and ill treatment – has long been the norm for Tibetans allegedly taking part in political activities, the elements of the new directive signal an acknowledgment by the authorities that harsh punishment alone is failing to deter Tibetans from confronting the authorities however they can.

The directive calls upon the public to “expose and report on anyone committing illegal activities harming social stability,” and offers a “minimum” reward of 5,000 yuan (about US $796) to “anyone who reports such criminal activities to public security organs.” Acknowledging the potential for animosity alongside the deteriorating effects these measures will have amongst the Tibetan community, as well as the potential for further escalating tensions in the area between Tibetans and Chinese, officials pledge to “provid[e] personal protection,” and promise that informants’ “identities will be kept confidential.”

Radio Free Asia reported, also in March 2012, that Chinese government officials were offering several hundred yuan to anyone providing information about Tibetans who may be considering self-immolation (RFA, Two Potential Self-Immolators Nabbed – 21 March 2012). The RFA report cited a Tibetan source in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and followed the March 3 self-immolation of Tsering Kyi, a 19-year old student at the Tibetan Senior Middle School in Machu, in the same prefecture (ICT report, Tibetan student and widowed mother self-immolate in Tibet – 5 March 2012). On March 20, some 100 monks from Bora monastery in Sangchu (Chinese: Xiahe) county in Kanlho prefecture staged a peaceful protest march to the local government offices that resulted in a late-night police raid on their monastery and the detention of at least 40 monks (ICT report, Tibetans in Rebkong continue prayer vigils, protests, despite heavy security presence – 22 March 2012). The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, which has provided the English translation of the directive, has observed that: “There is not a single county in Kanlho that has not witnessed a demonstration or protest march since 2008,” when protests swept across Tibet (TCHRD, 4 April 2012).

Notification of Kanlho Public Security Bureau Encouraging the Masses of Kanlho Prefecture to Expose and Report on Anyone Committing Illegal Activities Harming Social Stability

To maintain Kanlho social and political stability, speed up and promote the building of a “harmonious Kanlho,” create a favorable economic and investment environment, prevent and strike hard [note that this could also be translated as ‘to crack down upon’] on illegal and criminal acts that endanger social stability, to encourage the broad masses to actively expose the criminals, by reporting to PSB, which has been authorized by the relevant stability maintenance authority to issue the following notice:

I. The Public Security organs will strike hard [crack down] on anyone engaging in the following acts, which seriously harm national security and disrupt social stability, undermine national unity:

1) Instigating inter-ethnic relations, creating unrest between nationalities, engaging in ethnic separatism and destroying national unity.

2) Inciting and advocating the public to split the nation by means of speeches, writings, drawings and films, etc. are acts that threaten social order and social stability.

3) Participating in and promoting illegal organizations or giving guidance and donations to such organizations are acts that endanger national security and harm social stability.

4) Fabricating and disseminating rumors on social networking sites, distributing harmful information through internet and phone, are illegal acts that harm social stability.

5) Devising plans to engage in illegal activities of “beating, smashing, looting, burning” and other violent means to disrupt social order and public security

II. The broad masses of the people should actively take action, and actively provide clues for the public security organs to expose these criminal acts. Anyone who reports such criminal activities to public security organs shall be provided personal protection and their identities will be kept confidential as well as rewarded a minimum Yuan 5,000.

III. This directive will be implemented from the day of the announcement.

To report, contact 0941-6696271, 66962723

[Stamp of Kanlho Tibetan Autonomos Prefecture Public Security Bureau]