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US says China is engaged in "severe repression" of Tibet PDF Print E-mail
[3 May 2013] The US government has condemned China over its "severe repression" of Tibet in two separate reports published recently. The reports state that conditions for religious freedom in Tibet are worse now than at any time over the past decade and that human rights in Tibet  "deteriorated markedly" during 2012.

US Commission for International Religious Freedom  I  US State Department

US Commission condemns religious repression in Tibet
USCIRF logoOn 30 April, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (an independent government-funded body that makes policy recommendations to the US government) issued its annual report on the status of religious freedom around the world.

The report stated that religious freedom conditions in Tibet are "worse now than at any time over the past decade" and that China is one of "most egregious violators" of religious freedom in the world, along with countries such as North Korea, Iran and Sudan.

The report, which reviews developments over 12 months up to 31 January 2013, notes the Chinese government's increasing efforts to control Tibetan Buddhism through regulations and direct management, including the positioning of government officials in every monastery in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The report also notes the rise in self-immolation protests by Tibetans and states, "(the) Chinese authorities have not acknowledged that their policies of repression have contributed to the self-immolations, instead calling them "terrorist acts" that are orchestrated with the "instigation and support" of the Dalai Lama."

The Commission recommends that the Chinese government "releases all those imprisoned, detained, or disappeared on account of their religious belief, activities, or religious freedom advocacy". It also urges China to implement all UN recommendations on Tibet, allow visits by specific UN Special Rapporteurs and to give immediate access for international observers to all detention facilities.

Further reading: Phayul I US Commission on International Religious Freedom
(Download the full report here - PDF document. China & Tibet section: pages 29-45)

US government says China engaged in "severe repression" of Tibet
John KerryOn 19 April, US Secretary of State John Kerry officially released the US State Department's Human Rights Report for 2012. Amongst its review of human rights around the world, the report stated that the Chinese government was engaging in the "severe repression" of Tibet and that human rights in Tibet had "deteriorated markedly" during 2012.

In the 25-page section dealing with Tibet, the US government highlighted human rights violations in Tibet including extrajudicial killings, torture, imprisonment for political or religious activity, prison conditions, arbitrary arrests, denial of fair public trials and discrimination. It also examined the status of freedom of speech and the press, freedom of movement and assessed Tibetan self-immolations.

The executive summary of the reports Tibet section noted that during 2012 "the (Chinese) government's respect for and protection of human rights in the TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region) and other Tibetan areas deteriorated markedly".

It was also noted that, "Under the banner of maintaining social stability, the (Chinese) government engaged in the severe repression of Tibets unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage by, among other means, strictly curtailing the civil rights of Chinas ethnic Tibetan population, including the freedoms of speech, religion, association, and movement."

With regard to the self-immolations, the report stated that China "routinely vilified the Dalai Lama and blamed the Dalai clique and other outside forces for instigating the self-immolations".

Further reading: ICT I PhayulUS State Dept report
(Download the report on China here - PDF doc, Tibet section: pages 83-107)

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