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5/4/11 China ( Beijing rejected a US commission report accusing China and other countries of seriously violating religious freedoms, saying the board that wrote it should “abandon its prejudices”.  “We advise the so-called ‘US Commission on International Religious Freedom’ to abandon its prejudices, respect facts and stop intervening in China’s domestic affairs,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement today.

In an annual report released last Thursday, the commission said it found serious violations in nations including China, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam and highlighted what it called a sharp deterioration in Pakistan.

The commission, an independent advisory board, said authorities in China had severely curtailed the freedoms of Tibetan Buddhists and Muslim Uighurs, and tortured practitioners of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.

In the past year, China had detained more than 500 Protestants and kept in custody dozens of Catholic clergy for not registering with the government, the commission said, adding that China had also destroyed Christian meeting points.

Last month, up to 30 members of the Chinese evangelical Shouwang church were arrested in Beijing on Easter Sunday, a member of the clergy told AFP – the third week in a row that parishioners had been rounded up by authorities.

Human rights groups have said two Tibetans were killed and hundreds of Buddhist monks detained in a recent security crackdown at the Kirti monastery in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

Unrest in the primarily Tibetan-populated region erupted in March when a young monk set himself on fire and died in an apparent anti-government protest.

Members of the bipartisan commission – tasked with making policy recommendations to the US government – are appointed by Obama and Congressional leaders.

The US State Department lists China as one of eight “countries of particular concern”, or CPCs, for religious freedom, along with Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan.

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