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US-Tibet-China-Asia-2015Dharamshala – In its 2015 report published on April 30th, 2015, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that China be designated as a 'country of particular concern (CPC)' based on an alarming increase in systematic, egregious and ongoing abuses of religious freedom in the country. The US state department has designated China as CPC since 1999.

The report on China stated, "In 2014, the Chinese government took steps to consolidate further its authoritarian monopoly of power over all aspects of its citizen's lives. For religious freedom, this has meant unprecedented violation against Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, and Falun Gong Practitioners."

"People of faith continue to face arrests, fines, denials of justice, lengthy prison sentences, and in some cases, the closing or bulldozing of places of worship," the report added.

On its section on Tibetan Buddhists, the report said that "Since 2008, the Chinese government has imposed harsh policies of repression on Buddhists across the Tibetan plateau, including harassment, imprisonment, and torture."

The report documented the Chinese government's campaign of repression involving the destruction of religious structures and restrictions that force young monks out of monasteries.

"Moreover, the Chinese continued its vilification of the Dalai Lama, including accusing him of seeking Tibetan independence, which he has repeatedly denied," the report said.

The annual report mentioned specific examples of Tibetan prisoners, including Goshul Lobsang, a Tibetan political prisoner who died shortly following his release from prison after suffering extreme malnourishment and brutal torture, and Khenpo Kartse, a Tibetan religious leader who was sentenced to two-and-half years imprisonment for allegedly protecting a fugitive monk.

In light of the many reported violations of religious freedom, the commission recommended the U.S. government to consistently raise religious freedom concerns at the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and other bilateral meetings, to urge the Chinese government to release its political prisoners, and to press China to uphold its international obligations.

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