June 26, 2015 / 3:23 AM / 2 years ago

Former top Tibet security official probed for graft

BEIJING (Reuters) - A former top Chinese security official in Tibet is being investigated for suspected corruption, the ruling Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog said on Friday, in a rare example of corruption-busters going into the restive and remote region.

Le Dake, currently deputy head of Tibet’s regional legislature, is being investigated for alleged “serious violation of discipline and law”, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said, using the usual euphemism for graft.

It provided no other details and it was not possible to contact Le for comment.

According to his official biography, Le was head of the State Security Department in Tibet from 2004 to 2013.

President Xi Jinping has vowed to combat deep-seated corruption since assuming power in late 2012, though parts of the country with big minority populations like Xinjiang and Tibet have largely escaped the campaign so far.

In January, state media said that anti-graft authorities found 15 senior Communist Party officials in Tibet guilty of corruption last year and punished them.

China has ruled Tibet with an iron hand since People’s Liberation Army troops “peacefully liberated” the region in 1950.

Tibetan parts of China erupted in widespread anti-Chinese protests in 2008, and what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region remains under tight security.

Activists say China tramples on religious freedom and culture in Tibet. China rejects such criticism, saying its rule ended serfdom in Tibet and brought development to a backward, poverty-stricken region.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry

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