Press release April 25, 2017
Tibet: U.S. Bill Aims to Ease Beijing’s Restrictions
Freedom House issued the following statement in response the introduction of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act in the United States Congress.
In response to members of Congress introducing the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“We applaud the U.S. Congress for taking concrete action to address China’s longstanding restriction on access to Tibet,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president. “Blocking entry to Tibet serves to avert scrutiny of human rights violations against Tibetans. This bipartisan legislation seeks to hold accountable Chinese officials who are responsible for preventing U.S. diplomats, journalists, and citizens from entering Tibet but are free to enter the United States. We hope the legislation ends the double standard and has the intended effect of allowing free access for all, including those working on humanitarian aid and human rights documentation.”
The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act (S.821/H.R.1872), introduced by Senators Rubio and Baldwin and Reps. Hultgren and McGovern, directs the State Department to report to Congress annually on the restrictions imposed by China on access to Tibet and provide a list of officials responsible for creating or administering those restrictions. It also blocks or revokes U.S. visas for those officials until travel restrictions to Tibet have been lifted.
Tibet is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2017. A recent Freedom House report entitled The Battle for China's Spirit found that Chinese authorities continue to impose severe constraints on the religious practice of Tibetan Buddhists.