China continues to push “underworld forces” campaign in Tibet

Chinese officials hand out materials to Tibetans in Mangra County
Chinese officials hand out materials to Tibetans in Mangra County
Chinese officials hand out materials to Tibetans in Mangra County
3rd July 2020

Authorities have extended the campaign in eastern Tibet, telling citizens to fight against “underworld forces” and religious superstitions.

The Chinese government has launched a campaign promoting  “public information” and “safety” in eastern Tibet, Tibet Watch has found.

The public information campaign was launched on 24 May in Sagou Town in Mangra County, which is governed as Qinghai Province.

Over 350 public information materials were distributed to Tibetans during the campaign, instructing them to fight against “underworld forces” and religious superstitions.

On 4 and 5 March, police officers and other authorities cracked down on online communications  in at least two townships in the same county during the coronavirus outbreak, digitally searching WeChat groups in around 16 villages and five monasteries in Mangra County.Authorities shut down 75 WeChat groups across the two townships. 

Meanwhile 298 groups were registered by authorities and 223 were forced to submit letters pledging they would be properly administered and would not spread ‘rumours,’ Free Tibet’s research partner, Tibet Watch said. 

The campaign in Mangra County is part of a nationwide campaign, launched by the Chinese government in 2018, against “underworld forces” and “criminal gangs”. The campaign has resulted in hundreds of arrests across Tibet. A Human Rights Watch report from July 2018 called the campaign “openly political”, noting that it deliberately conflates serious crimes such as blackmail and trafficking with acts such as peaceful protest and criticism of the government.

TAKE ACTION

Free Tibet is calling for the media to stop spreading CCP propaganda. Some media publications have recently dropped China Watch from their print and online editions. We are urging The Economist and The Wall Street Journal to follow them and do the same. Help us urge them to drop CCP propaganda.