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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Monday, February 09, 2004

China: Criminal Charges Misused to Target Tibetans (Human Rights Watch, 9-2-2004)


China: Criminal Charges Misused to Target Tibetans (Human Rights Watch, 9-2-2004)


The Chinese methodology to quell dissent obviously is consistent in it's application if nothing else.

The above story is of of Tenzin Delek, a Tibetan Monk given a commuted death sentence for 'splittism" and other charges and his story is so typical texbook stuff that I am sure there really does exists one and is handed out to all levels of officialdom.

The Textbook on "Handling Dissenters at Local Level" goes something like this.

Chapter 1

In the case of minor first time dissent

  • Identify the individual who is criticising the state
  • Lean heavily on him to desist
  • Put a warning out by leaning on his friends, relatives and associates
  • Harass the said individual constantly over minor things such as whose pictures he has or does not have on his wall at home. (N.B. Imperative that Mao's photo take precedence over God's.)
  • Give him a taste of jail a couple of times over some trumped up matters. (N.B. Publicise this heavily)
  • Jail some friends or relatives. (Footnote: Whereas someone may disregard his own welfare it is harder for him to ignore what is happening to those close by him. Effectiveness rating 8/10)


Chapter 2 Hard Nuts

If the said dissenter continues after all avenues in Chapter 1 are exhausted please refer to chapter 2


  • Accuse dissenter of one of the following: "Splittism" "Terrorism" "endangering National Security".
  • Accuse said individual and any one (number is at the discetion of local leaders) of his friends of letting off a bomb (in the event you have used this too much in your prefecture recently please feel free to accuse him of "Mass Poisoning".
  • Conduct closed door trial in the interests of "National Security" (N.B. Do not publicise proceedings)
  • Sentence both to death and execute "co-conspirator" immediately
  • Show the benevolence of the State by commuting said dissenters sentence to life imprisonment. This serves the added purpose of dissuading others who may wish to follow him.


The case of the Tibetan monk as set out in the Human Rights Watch article is mirrored countless times with others throughout China.

The Uygur ethnic minority of Xinjiang are treated in exactly the same manner day in and day out.

The terms "splittist" "terrorist" "bomb maker" "poisoner" et al are bandied about with such gay abandon by officialdom that they must have pre prepared templates. "Choose a category and insert name...."

But the bottom line is, and we must never lose sight of it even though we may employ the device of parody in highlighting it, is that this is happening on a daily basis to thousands within China.

Real people are made to suffer real fear, real deprivations and ,all to often very real death.