Human Rights Watch, 11 September 2019, Read the original article here.
Scrap Limits on Former Officials’ Freedom of Religion
(New York) – A Chinese Communist Party notice banning retired Tibetan government employees from taking part in religious activities violates China’s commitment to religious freedom, Human Rights Watch said today. The notice obtained by Human Rights Watch is undated but appears to have been issued in early August 2019.
The notice requires all Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) government and party offices in charge of retired government employees – regardless of whether those retirees are party members – to submit a list by August 18 of any “retired personnel performing the kora,” the Tibetan practice of circumambulating a sacred site or temple while reciting prayers or mantras. The practice is a standard form of religious devotion among Tibetan Buddhists, particularly the elderly, for whom it is often a daily religious practice as well as a form of exercise. Punishments would be imposed on those named.
“Chinese government authorities are relentless in their quest to control all aspects of Tibetans’ religious practices,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “Even those who spent their lives in service to the government aren’t spared.”