Published By Tenzin Saldon
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Washington DC: Co-chairs of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA) and Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) released a bipartisan letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, signed by 32 Members of Congress, urging the Trump Administration to promptly implement key legislation passed by Congress to guide United States policy on Tibet.

In light of the unabated repression of fundamental human rights in Tibet, the letter urged robust implementation of the Tibet Policy Act of 2002 and the 2018 Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act—key legislation passed by the US Congress on the lack of respect for human rights in Tibet.

The Tibet Policy Act of 2002 urges the president of the United States to encourage direct dialogue between the government of the People’s Republic of China and representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The 2018 Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act establishes consequences for Chinese government officials responsible for restricting access to Tibetan areas by United States journalists, diplomats, tourists, and citizens, including Tibetan Americans requires the State Department to monitor the access that American diplomats, journalists and citizens are granted to Tibetan areas of China.

“Strong support for human rights must always underlie America’s relationship with the government of China. There is a strong, bipartisan, and growing majority in Congress that is deeply concerned about the situation in Tibet, and we encourage President Trump and Secretary Pompeo to join us by fully implementing both the Tibet Policy Act and the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act,” said Congressman McGovern.

“Members of Congress and the Administration must affirm the peaceful desires of the Tibetan people for greater autonomy and freedom within China,” said Congressman Smith.

“We should demand open access to Tibet by journalists and diplomats, and we should raise the cases of prisoners of conscience with Chinese officials.  Congress passed the Tibet Policy Act of 2002 and the 2018 Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act to advance religious and political freedom in Tibet, and the Administration must act to fully implement these laws. U.S. leadership on these issues is critical, and we must demonstrate that universally-recognized human rights, especially religious freedom, matter everywhere – especially in Tibet.”

A copy of the signed letter is available here. Sourced from ICT.

The bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission was established by unanimous consent in the United States House of Representatives to promote, defend and advocate for international human rights. The Commission undertakes public education activities, provides expert human rights advice and encourages Members of Congress to actively engage in human rights issues.

The signatories to the letter are:

1. James McGovern (D-Mass)
2. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ)
3. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)
4. Ted S. Yoho (R-Fla.)
5. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY)
6. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)
7. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)
8. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.)
9. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
10. Denver Lee Riggleman III (R-Va.)
11. Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-Va.)
12. Scott Perry (R-Pa.)
13. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
14. John Ratcliffe (R-Tex.)
15. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.)
16. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)
17. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)
18. John Garamendi (D-Calif.)
19. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.)
20. Alan S. Lowenthal (D-Calif.)
21. Peter Welch (D-Vt.)
22. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.)
23. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)
24. Albio Sires (D-NJ)
25. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.)
26. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.)
27. Ben McAdams (D-Utah)
28. John A. Yarmuth (D-Ky.)
29. Susan Wild (D-Pa.)
30. Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY)
31. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.)
32. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ)


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