The United States has said that China’s human rights record relating to the Tibetan people is poor and that the level of repression of Tibetan religious freedom is high. This is part of the Tibet section of the report, “Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2005 – 2006,” released by the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor on April 5, 2006.
The report is the fourth such reports submitted to the Congress by the Department of State in compliance with Section 665 of P.L. 107-228, the FY 03 Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which requires the Department to report on actions taken by the U.S. Government to encourage respect for human rights. It summarizes the efforts of the U.S. Government to promote democracy and protect human rights in key countries.
In the Tibet section, the report says, “The U.S. Government continued to advocate vigorously for improvements in human rights conditions in Tibetan areas of China and urged the Chinese Government to meet with representatives of the Dalai Lama.”
With Chinese President Hu Jintao due in Washington, D.C. soon, the report recalled, “President Bush specifically encouraged China to engage in dialogue with the Dalai Lama when he met with President Hu Jintao in Beijing in November.”
The report also quoted President Bush as saying during his 2005 inaugural address,”All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: The United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.”
The report said that China’s “human rights record in Tibetan areas of China remained poor, and the level of repression of religious freedom remained high” and that it “continued to view the Dalai Lama with suspicion.”
The State Department said this report “complements the longstanding Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2005, and takes the next step, moving from highlighting abuses to publicizing the actions and programs the United States has employed to end those abuses.”
“The advancement of human rights and democracy will enable diverse nations and people to choose governments that are accountable to the governed, that exercise the rule of the law, and that respect human rights,” said Barry F. Lowenkron, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, in the report.
Following is the full text of the Tibet section in the report.
The Government’s human rights record in Tibetan areas of China remained poor, and the level of repression of religious freedom remained high. The Government continued to view the Dalai Lama with suspicion and tended to associate Tibetan Buddhist religious activity with separatist sympathies. The preservation and development of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage of Tibetan areas and the protection of Tibetan people’s fundamental human rights continued to be of concern. The Government strictly controlled information about, and access to, Tibetan areas, making it difficult to determine accurately the scope of human rights abuses.
The U.S. Government continued to advocate vigorously for improvements in human rights conditions in Tibetan areas of China and urged the Chinese Government to meet with representatives of the Dalai Lama. Discussions between Chinese officials and envoys of the Dalai Lama were held in Switzerland in June, the fourth round of talks since 2002. President Bush specifically encouraged China to engage in dialogue with the Dalai Lama when he met with President Hu Jintao in Beijing in November.
Numerous U.S. officials visited Tibetan areas during 2005, providing opportunities to raise human rights abuses with local officials. USCIRF commissioners and staff visited the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in August, a visit that had been sought since the 2002 bilateral Human Rights Dialogue. USCIRF was able to meet in Lhasa with released political prisoner Phuntsog Nyidrol. A large congressional delegation traveled to the TAR in August, visited religious sites, and raised concerns about human rights violations. In November, the UN Special Rapporteur for Torture visited Lhasa to meet with officials and visit two prisons. U.S.-funded programs focused on economic and community development, mindful of the importance of preserving Tibet’s environment and religious and cultural heritage.