Washington DC: The United States government released its annual International Religious Freedom Report, a report that covers repressive government policies that infringe upon religious freedom.
In the report, 16 countries that meet the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998’s standard for “countries of particular concern” (CPCs) are countries whose governments engages and/or tolerates severe religious freedom violations — violations that are “systematic, ongoing, and egregious”. China has been labeled under a CPC country along with North Korea, Syria, and Russia.
In the section reserved for China’s violations, the report highlights the extralegal detention of Tibetans, employment discrimination, travel restrictions for practicing Buddhists, self-immolations, sexual abuse of Tibetan nuns, and torture (food and sleep deprivation, prolonged wall standing and beatings, etc) of imprisoned Tibetans. The report also explains the multi-year eviction of monks and nuns from Larung Gar and Yachen Gar.
There are also multiple instances noted of when the Chinese government attempted to censor Tibetans who tried to speak out about the pervasive religious violations; during religious anniversaries or after a self-immolation event, the Chinese government consistently shuts down the internet to prevent communication.
According to the report, “U.S. officials regularly expressed concerns to the Chinese government at senior levels regarding severe restrictions imposed on Tibetans’ ability to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including religious freedom and cultural rights”.
The China section of the International Religious Freedom Report also expresses concerns about China’s treatment of Uyghurs, Falun Gong practitioners, and Hong Kong residents.
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback both reaffirmed the report’s findings of China’ repression against Tibetans during a press conference