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30 Lithuanian lawmakers urge President Xi to end religious persecution, Tibet colonization

Representative of the Office of Tibet, DC Ngodup Tsering with MP Mantas Adomenas, the author of the letter, at Taiwan International Religious Freedom Forum held in Taipei, May 2019. (Photo courtesy: CTA)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec17’19) – A total of 29 members of the Lithuanian parliament, joined by a member of the European Parliament from the country, have on Dec 10 called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to stop the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, including the Buddhists in occupied Tibet. The appeal was made in a letter presented to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in capital Vilnius on Dec 11.

The appeal expressed profound worry over the violent “sinicization” of religions campaign being conducted by the Chinese Communist Party which “placed Communist ideology and obedience to the Communist state above the imperatives of faith and conscience and thus violates the autonomy of religious faith, as well as the freedom of religion and conscience, one of the fundamental human rights” and called the persecution of the Uyghur Muslims as tantamounting to genocide.

The members expressed protest “against the continuing oppression of the Tibetans and against the deliberate colonization, insofar as these violate human rights and seek to obliterate the traditional faith, way of life, and national identity of Tibet.”

The members also condemned “the persecution, incarceration, torture and barbarous killing for the sake of organ harvesting of the adherents of Falun Gong, the persecution, incarceration, as well as prohibition and hindering of religious practices, even those privately performed, of the adherents of the Church of Almighty God, the Catholic Church, as well as other religions.”

The appeal expressed extreme concerned over the destruction of objects and places of worship belonging to the adherents of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and other religions and called for the release of prisoners of conscience of all religions.

In particular, the appeal urged President Xi to put an end to the persecution of the Uyghur and Tibetan nationals and to the attempts to wipe out their ethnic and religious identity, “which amount to genocide”, and to “liberate more than one million Uyghurs incarcerated in the prison camps in Xinjiang.”

The signatories were Aušra Maldeikiene, MEP; Mantas Adomenas, (author of the appeal); Gabrielius Landsbergis; Ingrida Šimonyte; Aušrine Armonaite; Laurynas Kasciunas; Egidijus Vareikis;Povilas Urbšys; Gintaras Steponavicius; Bronislovas Matelis; Stasys Šedbaras; Gintare Skaiste; Aiste Gedviliene; Rasa Petrauskiene; Andrius Navickas; Edmundas Pupinis; Vytautas Juozapaitis; Eugenijus Gentvilas; Audronius Ažubalis; Simonas Gentvilas; Gintaras Vaicekauskas; Žygimantas Pavilionis; Irena Haase; Justas Džiugelis; Ruta Miliute; Dovile Šakaliene; Vytautas Bakas;  Paulius Saudargas;  Rimantas Jonas Dagys; and Linas Balsys.

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