Saturday, January 24, 2009
China grills 5766 Tibetans Under Winter "Strike Hard" Campaign in Lhasa
In the latest move to tighten its grip on the Tibetan people in Tibet and intensify its hard-line policies prior to any major events, the Chinese authorities' in Lhasa city launched a stipulated 42-day winter "Strike Hard" Campaign beginning 18 January 2009.
According to information given in the official newspaper, Lhasa Evening News (Ch: Lasa Wen Bao) today, "Within three days of the launch of Winter "Strike Hard" Campaign beginning 18 January 2009, Lhasa City Public Security Bureau (PSB) office had deployed 600 officers, around 160 police vehicles and conducted raids on 7 housing blocks, 2922 rented houses, 14 guest house and hotels, 18 bars and 3 internet cafés in Lhasa. After conducting the raid on these locations, the PSB were able to round up 5766 suspects and questioned them. This figure highlights the result of the launch of the "Strike Hard" campaign in Lhasa since it was launched three days ago." The official report did not mention about the number of people detained or released following the raid.
Apart from this campaign, recently Lhasa City government issued official notice requiring all the outside visitors wishing to stay for more than 3 days or less than a month in Lhasa City to apply for a temporary stay permit from the PSB office. The notice warned that those failing to procure the same would be severely dealt with legal actions.
Although the primary objective of the current winter "strike hard" campaign was cited as securing public security and stability of Lhasa city, however, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) believes the sole objective as authorities' attempt to detain those Tibetans suspected to be involved in the 2008 spring protests, target former political prisoners and many Tibetans from outside Lhasa city and does not have official temporary stay permit (Ch: Zan zhu zheng). Under this campaign, the State law enforcement bodies abuse the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people through arbitrary arrest, detention, interrogation and torture, dismissal from jobs and expulsion from religious institutions. TCHRD condemns the launch of so called winter "strike hard" campaign and doubts the motive behind the launch of the campaign prior to major events in Tibet.
"Strike hard" campaign was first launched in China in 1983 with primary objective of fighting corruptions and crimes However, the motive of launching this campaign in China and in Tibet is totally different. In China, the official objective of this campaign is to crack down severely on general crime and end corruption practices. However, in Tibet the motive is to intimidate and eliminate those supporting Tibetan independence and human rights activists in Tibet. "