Digital jail: Former Tibetan political prisoners forced to wear electronic shackles 24×7

DHARAMSALA, 18 Nov: Declaring them disruptive to social stability, China has now reportedly forced former Tibetan political prisoners to wear electronic shackles around their ankle to surveil them, reports the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) 

“Tibetan political prisoners released since 2014 in Qinghai Province, which includes Tibetan provinces of Kham and Amdo, have been made to wear 24-hour GPS monitoring ankle bracelets that can monitor their movements and record conversations,” Dharamsala-based rights group said in its report.

Although the information is yet to be verified, the report noted it ensued recent news report of Tibetan political prisoners given a mobile phone each upon their release, with the strict instruction of not using any other devices for communication.”

“The monitoring and surveillance of Tibetan political prisoners are not new but it has intensified under President Xi Jinping resulting in the standard practice of monitoring individuals, referred to as ‘key persons’, deemed disruptive to the political and social stability of the Chinese state.”

Additionally, the TCHRD has stated that “irrespective of their detention status, all Tibetan political prisoners are closely monitored and subject to random government inspections and mandatory interrogations, especially during sensitive political anniversaries.

The rights group declared China’s use of electronic shackles and state-sanctioned mobile phones as yet another addition to the long list of tools used by the Chinese state to control Tibetan dissidents. 

And this, the report said, “ensures that former political prisoners are unable to cross the border and flee into exile to tell their stories to the world.”

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