Religious freedom panel says Bush should skip games or visit Tibet

Commission on International Religious Freedom
An independent federal body that monitors religious freedom is urging President Bush not to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing unless there are discernible changes in China’s policy toward Tibet.

The Washington-based Commission on International Religious Freedom said in an April 4 statement that if Bush decides to attend the games, he should first visit the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, or another Tibetan area “in an affirmation of the U.S. commitment to religious freedom for Tibetans, as well as for China’s other growing religious communities.”

The August games in Beijing are becoming a symbol for human rights protesters in different parts of the world, both because of China’s recent crackdown in Tibet and because of the country’s close relationship with the government of Sudan, which is widely accused of human rights abuses in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.


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