Pelosi: The Violent Response by Chinese Police Forces to Peaceful Protesters in Tibet is Disgraceful'
Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today in response to reports that Chinese police forces have arrested, detained and fired tear gas on hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist monks peacefully protesting near the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. There have also been reports of sightings of People's Liberation Army troop transport vehicles traveling to Drepung monastery and reports of gunshots and beatings from inside the monastery.
"The violent response by Chinese police forces to peaceful protesters in Tibet is disgraceful. It must be met with strong condemnation by the United States government and the international community. The Chinese government should immediately provide information on the welfare and whereabouts of the detained Buddhist monks and facilitate access by international human rights monitors and journalists to Tibetan areas.
"We know from the State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights that the human rights situation in China and Tibet continues to worsen and the repression of religious freedom has increased. There is disturbing new evidence of a pre-Olympic crackdown on religious leaders, journalists and lawyers in recent months. The Olympic Games in Beijing this summer should provide an opportunity for more free expression, not less. I call upon the Bush Administration to publicly condemn the attacks in the strongest possible terms and consider issuing a travel warning to Tibet because of concerns that tourists could be caught in the violence.
"It is long past time for Beijing to make progress on a solution that respects the human rights of every Tibetan. The plight of the people of Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world and the United States must be prepared to confront the Chinese government when they violate the human rights of their people."