World Bulletin / News Desk
Authorities in China are offering cash rewards for everything from "violent terrorism training" to "growing long beards," the latest regulations in the targeting Uighur Muslims in East Turkestan (Xinjiang province).
The rewards are part of a social stability campaign in a troubled region in which the government has been cracking down on native Uighur Turks who want to establish an independent state.
Many Uighurs complain of Chinese controls on their culture and religion, with sporadic clashes between them and Han Chinese settlers resulting in more than 100 deaths in the region in the past year.
Uighur exiles and many rights groups trace the cause of unrest to government policies, including curbs on Islam and the Uighur people's culture and language.
Members of the public can earn rewards by reporting on a range of more than 50 activities, according to a notice published on a government website for Shaya county in mid-April and carried in state media this week.
Verified information regarding violations such as "violent terrorism training activities" and behaviour with "separatist aims" can earn an informant up to 50,000 yuan ($8,000).
Information on individuals "growing long beards" and "wearing bizarre clothing" can yield rewards from 50 to 500 yuan, the county government said.
"Timely reporting of social stability information can actively prevent and precisely strike at all kinds of illegal offences," it said in the notice.
Providing information about people who "say things that are not good for ethnic unity" and who "twist facts" about a deadly July 2009 riot in the regional capital Urumqi are also worth up to 500 yuan, the county government said.
Nearly 200 people were killed in the Urumqi riot when Uighurs clashed with members of the ethnic Han Chinese community.
It is not the first time authorities have targeted beards and clothing such as burqas and veils.
"Restricting traditional culture, faith and lifestyles, proves the utter failure of China's local governance," Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the main Uighur exile group, the World Uyghur Congress, said in a emailed statement this week.Last Mod: 25 Nisan 2014, 15:52