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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Commerce, Justice, Science, And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 June 23, 2016
Thomas Carper, D-DE
"Everyone remembers the “Star Wars” movie “The Empire Strikes Back.” Well, in this case, the coalition is striking back."
Tricentennial Of Georgetown, Maine June 21, 2016
Angus King, I-ME
"Today Georgetown is known for its picturesque landscape and quaint, smalltown feel. It is home to boat builders, fishermen, retirees, summer residents, and artists alike. Summer visitors can enjoy the town’s famous Reid State Park, historic lighthouses, and the many land preserves protected through the community’s dedication to preservation and environmental sustainability. Even when the winter comes and the summer residents leave, a cohesive and engaged year-round population remains. The town and its citizens represent the best of Maine’s historic coastal villages: a close-knit and hard-working community surrounded by striking natural beauty."
Commerce, Justice, Science, And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 June 21, 2016
Ron Wyden, D-OR
"Some have also made mention of the fact that a company that gets one of these national security letters could challenge it in court. That is technically right. Big companies that have the resources can challenge them. The small companies invariably say they can’t afford to do that. So, again, no oversight. No oversight—particularly striking given the fact that, as I have noted, in the FREEDOM Act—something I felt very strongly about—we gave the government additional authority in the instance of emergencies."
Commerce, Justice, Science, And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016—Motion To Proceed June 14, 2016
Al Franken, D-MN
"Our State of Minnesota has a proud tradition of responsible gun ownership. Generations of Minnesotans have learned to hunt from their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and neighbors, but when I speak to constituents on this issue, the message is clear: Minnesotans want Congress to take commonsense steps to reduce gun violence and ensure their family’s safety. There is a balance to be struck here, and I strongly believe that we are capable of striking that balance."
Tibet June 13, 2016
Jim McGovern, D-MA
"We have followed the law in striking out and relentlessly pounding at illegal organizations and key figures, and resolutely followed the law in striking at the illegal organizations and key figures who follow the 14th Dalai Lama clique in carrying out separatist, infiltration, and sabotage activities, knocking out the hidden dangers and soil for undermining Tibet’s stability, and effectively safeguarding the state’s utmost interests [and] society’s overall interests.—Statement by Chen Quanguo, Tibet Autonomous Region Party Secretary, December 2013 This report documents the Chinese government’s detention, prosecution, and conviction of Tibetans for largely peaceful activities from 2013 to 2015. Our research shows diminishing tolerance by authorities for forms of expression and assembly protected under international law. This has been marked by an increase in state control over daily life, increasing criminalization of nonviolent forms of protest, and at times disproportionate responses to local protests. These measures, part of a policy known as weiwen or “stability maintenance,” have led authorities to expand the range of activities and issues targeted for repression in Tibetan areas, particularly in the countryside. The analysis presented here is based on our assessment of 479 cases for which we were able to obtain credible information. All cases are of Tibetans detained or tried from 2013 to 2015 for political expression or criticism of government policy—“political offenses.” Our cases paint a detailed picture not available elsewhere. Stringent limitations on access to Tibet and on information flows out of Tibet mean we cannot conclude definitively that our cases are representative of the unknown overall number of political detentions of Tibetans during this period. But they are indicative of the profound impact stability maintenance” policies have had in those areas, and of shifts in the types of protest and protester Chinese authorities are targeting there. Information on the cases comes from the Chinese government, exile organizations, and foreign media. Of the 479 detainees, 153 were reported to have been sent for trial, convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment. The average sentence they received was 5.7 years in prison. As explained in the methodology section below, the actual number of Tibetans detained and prosecuted during this period for political offenses was likely significantly higher. Many detentions documented here were for activities that the Chinese authorities previously considered to be minor offenses or not politically sensitive. Many of those detained came from segments of society not previously associated with dissent. In addition, many of the detentions took place in rural areas where political activity had not previously been reported. From 2008 to 2012, the Tibetan parts of Sichuan province had posted the highest numbers of protests and detentions on the Tibetan plateau, but in 2013 the epicenter of detentions shifted to the central and western areas of the Tibetan plateau, called the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) since 1965, which until 1950 had been under the government of the Dalai Lama. Our research found that many of those detained and prosecuted were local community leaders, environmental activists, and villagers involved in social and cultural activities, as well as local writers and singers. In the previous three decades, the authorities had rarely accused people from these sectors of Tibetan society of involvement in political unrest. Buddhist monks and nuns, who constituted over 90 percent of political detainees in Tibet in the 1980s, represent less than 40 percent of the 479 cases documented here. Almost all the protests and detentions identified in this report occurred in small towns or rural townships and villages rather than in cities, where most protests and detentions in prior years were reported to have taken place. This suggests that dissent has increased in rural Tibetan areas, where nearly 80 percent of Tibetans live. Our data also shows an overall decline in the total number of Tibetans detained for political offenses between 2013 and 2015, though this may be an artifact of the limitations on information, detailed in the methodology section below. Notably, however, the totals for these three years are significantly higher than for the 10 years before 2008 when stability maintenance policies were expanded following major protests centered in Lhasa (Ch.: Lasa), the capital of the "

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