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Tibet: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL1464, tabled on 15 July 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have discussed freedom of religion and belief in Tibet with the government of China since the death in prison of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche; and if so, when.

Answered on

24 July 2015

We pay close attention to the human rights situation in China, and remain concerned by all restrictions to freedom of religion or belief, including in Tibet. We have raised the case of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche with the Chinese authorities on a number of occasions, including during the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in April this year. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), also raised this case during Westminster Hall Debates on Tibet in June and last December, and urged the Chinese authorities to consider him for medical parole.

Although we have not raised the issue of freedom of religion or belief with the Chinese authorities since Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s death, we support and encouraged the EU statement of 15 July, which said the EU expected the Chinese authorities to investigate and make public the circumstances surrounding Tenzin’s death. We will continue to raise our concerns through the EU, and as part of our wider relationship with China.