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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Only Syria is less free than Tibet, says Freedom House 2017 annual report

February 6, 2017

Freedom House, January 31, 2017 – For the second year in a row, US-based Freedom House has designated Tibet as the second least free place in the world, with only Syria ranking lower.

Freedom House does not equate legal guarantees of rights with the on-the-ground fulfillment of those rights. While both laws and actual practices are factored into the ratings decisions, greater emphasis is placed on implementation.

Territories are selected for inclusion in Freedom in the World based on their political significance and size. Freedom House divides territories into two categories: related territories and disputed territories. Related territories are in some relation of dependency to a sovereign state, and the relationship is not currently in serious legal or political dispute. Disputed territories are areas within internationally recognized sovereign states whose status is in serious political or violent dispute, and whose conditions differ substantially from those of the relevant sovereign states.

China's downward trend arrow reflects the chilling effect generated by cybersecurity and foreign NGO laws, increased internet surveillance, and lengthy prison sentences for human rights lawyers, activists, and religious believers.

A plan for “comprehensive management” of all religious activity and organizations and the “Sinicization” of religion in China, laid out at an April party conference, further restricted the scope for religious freedoms. The government continued to impose conditions approaching martial law in Tibetan- and Uighur-populated regions of the country, refusing to reassess failed policies of repression for these ethnic minority groups.

The full report can be viewed at:

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