Religious freedom continued to decline in China this year, according to the State Department’s 2012 Religious Freedom Report. The government “respect for religious freedom declined during the year, particularly in Tibetan areas and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Republic,” said the report.
“State persecution of Uyghur religious practice has increased tremendously in recent years,” said Uyghur Human Rights Project Director Alim Seytoff, citing a recently-published report which details how the Communist authorities’ deny freedom of religion.
Based on interviews with Uyghur witnesses, government documents, and reports from media, human rights monitors, and academic analysts, Sacred Right Defiled is the first systematic documentation of the repression of Uyghur religion since 2005.
“Attacks on religious freedom are both a moral and strategic concern to the United States,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said this week, introducing the State Dept. report.
He pledged to press world leaders to promote religious tolerance during the launch of the U.S. Department of State’s Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom. Their report explains that in China in 2012, “Over the course of the year, the government’s repression of religious freedom remained severe in the XUAR and other Tibetan areas, particularly during ‘sensitive periods.’”
The declining conditions of Uyghur religious freedom will be the focus at the Capitol Hill panel event on May 29, which will mark the launch of the new Uyghur Human Rights Project report, Sacred Right Defiled: China’s Iron-Fisted Repression of Uyghur Religious Freedom.
Uyghur American Association and National Endowment for Democracy
jointly present a Panel Discussion on
Sacred Right Defiled:
China’s Iron-Fisted Repression of Uyghur Religious Freedom
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Rayburn House Office Building
Gold Room 2168
11:00 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.: Welcome – Alim A. Seytoff, UAA President
11:05 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.: Opening Remarks – Scott Flipse, Dep Director, Policy & Research, USCIRF
Moderator: Sinchang Chiu, Asia Program Officer at NED
11:10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Henryk Szadziewski and Greg Fay, UHRP Report Authors
11:30 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.: Q & A
Moderator: Louisa Greve, Vice President at NED
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.:
· Dr. Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn, Director of Religious Freedom & SE Asia Programs, Freedom House
· Dr. Sophie Richardson, China Director at Human Rights Watch
· T. Kumar, International Advocacy Director at Amnesty International
· Amy Reger, Research Associate, Congressional Executive Commission on China
12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Q & A
No RSVP is required and all are welcome to attend.