Actor Richard Gere: In Tibet, ‘oppression cannot be tolerated’

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) – Members of the House Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific met Wednesday to discuss U.S. policy toward Tibet.; more specifically, working toward greater access, religious freedom and human rights for Tibetan citizens.

Two bills pending before the subcommittee were highlighted. The H.R.1872 —Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2017 would require the U.S. State Department to submit a list to Congress of senior Chinese officials in leadership positions for review. Congress would then determine the officials’ level of access to the United States contingent with the access U.S. officials are granted to Tibetan areas in China.

The second bill, H.Con.Res.89, maintains that United States policy toward Tibet and treatment of the Tibetan people should remain a factor in U.S. relations with China.

Subcommittee Chairman Ted Yoho, R- Fla., discussed the ways in which the Tibetan people have had their human rights and civil liberties encroached upon.

“Human rights and personal freedoms in Tibet are already in a poor and worsening state,” Yoho said. “According to a 2016 Human Rights report, the government of China engages in the severe repression of Tibet’s unique cultural and linguistic heritage by among other means strictly curtailing the civil rights of the Tibetan population, including the freedoms of speech, religion, association, assembly and movement.”

The congressman added that the flow of information is heavily restricted to Tibet by China.

“Tibet remains extremely isolated. The flow of information in and out of Tibet is tightly restricted,” Yoho said. “Tibetans are prevented from obtaining passports and moving freely and foreigners especially journalists and officials are frequently denied access.”

Ranking Member of the Subcommittee Brad Sherman, D- Calif., said in 2015 China expressed they had no intentions of granting autonomy to Tibet.

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