Ambassador Saperstein calls for religious freedom in Tibet

DHARAMSHALA September 2: The US envoy for International Religious Freedom has called for complete religious freedom in Tibet and reassessment of the restrictions on the religious practice of Tibetan Buddhists.

Ambassador David Saperstein, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religion Freedom, who visited China from August 20-28 to discuss religious freedom with government officials, religious leaders, and civil society representatives. He visited Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong, a press release issued by the US Department of State said.

Ambassador Saperstein who is the United States’ chief diplomat on issues of religious freedom worldwide conveyed his government’s deep concern over the recent detentions of many human rights defenders and religious leaders in China.

“I urge the Chinese authorities to reassess counterproductive policies, including restrictions on the religious practice of Tibetan Buddhists,” the Ambassador said.

A 2013 report complied by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, place China among the ‘most egregious violators’ of religious freedom in the world and had found that religious freedom conditions in Tibet are ‘worse now than at any time over the past decade.’

The report said the China’s control of the doctrines, worship sites, and selection of religious leaders of Tibetan Buddhism, and its arrests and detentions of individuals who oppose government policy or support the Dalai Lama, particularly since the 2008 protests in Tibet, have ‘nurtured deep resentments among Tibetans.’

Another report earlier this year by Freedom House, a US based human rights watchdog pointed out that the state of religious freedom in China has worsened since Xi Jinping became President.

The report stated that China has continued to oppress personal freedoms using harsh tactics that include obstructing activism, strict regulation of Internet, obstructing human rights activism and shutting down public protest even as China declares its commitment to human rights.

Phayul,Wednesday, September 02, 2015


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