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05march20102Dharamshala: With the launch of "Strike Hard" Campaign in the "Tibet Autonomous Region" (‘TAR') from 2nd March, the Chinese security forces had detained nearly 500 Tibetans alone from Lhasa city alone, according to reports given in the state run web portal.

According to the official report dated 4 March 2010 given in the state run web portal www.chinatibet.com, "during the campaign, the Lhasa City Public Security Bureau Police Brigade (Ch: Lasa Gong An Ju Xing Jing Zhi Dui) raided a total of 4,115 rented accommodations, thoroughly checked 60 high prone areas where crime is concentrated, gathering areas for floating population, places with complex social order and iniquity, carried out comprehensive checks on a total of 7,347 non-permanent residents of the city, raided more than 70 guest houses, internet cafes, entertainment centre and bars; and detained a total of 435 people. Of these 7 were arrested on theft and burglary, 3 persons on stealing motor bikes, 1 person for duping, 3 others suspected burglary accomplices." There is no detail information or reasons were given on the remaining people who were arbitrarily detained during the "strike hard" campaign launched since 2 March 2010.

The same web news portal dated 5 March carried a report on the "Strike Hard" campaign stating, "the Lhasa City PSB headquarters had mobilized 1,134 of its personnel and more than other 300 security forces raiding in total 2,787 rented accommodations; 21 high prone areas; 71 Karaoke bars, guest houses, internet cafes, bars; confiscated 12 knives and 6 banned publications and detained 49 suspects without "three no" (Ch: San Wu)" The latter refers to Identity card, household registration card (Ch: Hukou) and Temporary stay permit (Ch: Zian Zhu Zheng). The report also said that a nun was detained but no detail was given.

According to our sources, in the past few days the movement of monks from three major monasteries in and around Lhasa city: Drepung, Gaden and Sera were restricted for indefinite period, however, the monasteries' staffs dealing with food supplies to these monasteries were known to have been issued special permit by the authorities for their daily duties.

To spur up further restriction and crackdown on potential dissent ahead of sensitive anniversary, Lhasa Neighborhood Committee under the Lhasa Metropolitan area had formed a new "security escort staff " in each and every sub-districts since 1 March. This new body will work in conjunction with the local public security officials. The primary objective of this new body was cited as "to maintain social order, thorough inspection and tracking down of suspects, and detaining those without "three no" viz. Identity card, household registration card (Ch: Hukou) and Temporary stay permit and prompt reporting of such cases to the local police station. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) believe that this new requirement signals authorities' attempt to target and stranglehold those Tibetans from outside "TAR" who are on visit to the holy city for pilgrimage or engaged in businesses as many of those Tibetans were known to be actively involved in the Spring 2008 protests in Lhasa.

TCHRD condemns this campaign in strongest terms and calls the government of the People's Republic of China to immediately end this infamous campaign which under the guise of fighting crimes and upholding stability violates and abuses many fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people through arbitrary arrest, detention, interrogation, restriction on the free movement of people. TCHRD believes that the Chinese authorities are using this campaign as double-edged sword to fight crimes and uphold stability as stated objective but at the same time it is using this campaign to silence, intimidate and stifle political dissent ahead of sensitive anniversary.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com