US asks China to reassess restrictions on religious freedom in Tibet

Washington: The US has asked China to reassess its policies which impose restrictions on religious freedom in Tibet, days after a top American diplomat concluded his visit to the Communist nation and discussed issues of human rights' violations and religious freedom with the Chinese officials.

Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein was on an eight day visit, starting from 20 August to China.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Saperstein raised a number of ongoing concerns of the US regarding the Chinese government's human rights violations pertaining to religious freedom during his visit to Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong, a statement said.

He called for an end in the ongoing campaign church demolitions in Zhejiang province and harassment of members from unregistered religious groups.

"He urged Chinese authorities to reassess counterproductive policies, including restrictions on the religious practice of Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims," a statement said, adding that Saperstein also conveyed the US government's deep concern over the recent detentions of many human rights defenders and religious leaders.

In meetings with government officials, Saperstein noted positive developments, including the growth of religious communities in China.

He also recognised the significant increase in the contributions of faith-based organisations to Chinese society, especially in the provision of social services, the statement said.

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Updated Date: May 18, 2016 09:12:35 IST

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