US Department of State Releases Annual Religious Freedom Report Condemning CCP's Repression before Olympic Games

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On September 14th, 2007, the US Department of State released annual International Religious Freedom Report. The report strongly criticises the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its restriction of religious freedom and suppression of foreign religious missionaries before the Olympic Games. The report stated that Falun Gong practitioners "...continued to face arrest, detention, and imprisonment."

The US Government strongly criticised the CCP's current round of repression of various groups, apparently carried out in preparation of the 2008 Olympic Games. The report states that the CCP continues to suppress religious minorities.

"Falun Gong practitioners continued to face arrest, detention, and imprisonment, and there were credible reports of deaths due to torture and abuse. Practitioners who refuse to recant their beliefs are sometimes subjected to harsh treatment in prisons, reeducation through labour camps, and extra-judicial "legal education" centres." "There were continuing reports that the Government's 610 office, a state security agency implicated in many alleged abuses of Falun Gong practitioners, continued to use extra-legal methods of repression."

"Since 1999, the Secretary of State has designated China a "Country of Particular Concern" (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) for particularly severe violations of religious."

The report is submitted to Congress. The report lists eight countries of particular concern, including China, Burma, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan. These countries have "engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom" during the reporting period.

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