Freedom House Review in the Context of Increased Tibetan Self-Immolations

This week’s special report from Freedom House, titled “The Politburo’s Predicament,” is an enlightening report on the worsening state of human rights in China. The report notes the variety of tactics that the CCP has used recently to protect its power. Specifically, the report argues that expanded targeting, reviving Maoist practices, and “concentrating power at the very top” headline the Party’s recent repressive tactics.

The predicament that the report’s title references is explained beautifully in the body of the report. According to the report, “the very actions taken to maintain power risk alienating the population and some of its own members, undermining the regime’s long-term unity, legitimacy, and security.”

The report’s one weakness, however, is its inadequate analysis of recent ethnic minority repression. Despite noting that the Party’s repression of Uyghurs has seen an “increase,” and that its repression of Tibetans has seen a “minor increase,” the report rarely entertains specifics. For example, the report doesn’t note that three Tibetan self-immolations have occurred in the past week, representing the most gruesome protests in nearly two years.

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Freedom of religion is considered by many people and nations to be a fundamental human right. In a country with a state religion, freedom of religion is generally considered to mean that the government permits religious practices of other sects besides the state religion, and does not persecute believers in other faiths.