109th Congress: 2005-2006

Belarus
Central Asia
China
Egypt
India
Iran
North Korea
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Anti-Semitism

Belarus

H.Con.Res.102- Condeming Human Rights Violations in Belarus

Urging
the appropriate representative of the United States to the 61st session
of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to introduce a
resolution calling upon the Government of the Republic of Belarus to
cease its human rights violations, and for other purposes.

This
bill expresses concern that the Government of the Republic of Belarus
has engaged in a pattern of clear, gross, and uncorrected violations of
human rights and fundamental freedoms, noting that Belarusian
authorities restrict in practice the right to freedom of religion and
have increased their harassment of some religious groups. It is the
sense of Congress that the Government of the Republic of Belarus should
cease all human rights
violations, and respect the fundamental human rights of its citizens.


Central Asia

H.Con.Res 31- Human Rights in Central Asia

Expressing the sense of Congress with respect to human rights in Central Asia.

The
bill expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the Governments of
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan should
accelerate democratic reforms and fulfill their human rights
obligations; (2) the President, the Secretary of State, and the
Secretary of Defense should continue to raise at the highest levels
with such Governments specific cases of political and religious
persecution and urge greater respect for human rights and democratic
freedoms; and (3) U.S. assistance to such Governments,
made possible by their cooperation in the war in Afghanistan, can be
sustained only if there is substantial progress toward meeting such
goals. The Bill includes a proviso which reads: "the
President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense
should follow the recommendations of the United States Commission on
International Religious Freedom by designating Turkmenistan a
‘Country of Particular Concern' under the International
Religious Freedom Act of 1998 and by making clear that Uzbekistan
risks a similar designation if conditions in that country do not
improve."

H.R. 3189-Central Asia Democracy and Human Rights Act

The bill presents finding of Congress that cover a wide range of issues but
specifically states that more than 13 years after independence, the five
countries of Central Asia-Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and
Uzbekistan-are struggling, to varying degrees, with their transformation from
authoritarian rule to democratic societies that fully respect human rights and
uphold their freely undertaken commitments as participating States in the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); and that the United
States has a unique opportunity to implement short-term policies promoting
stability, human dignity and security in the countries of Central Asia.
The bill provides a sense of Congress that the United States should support
those governments and individuals making substantial and sustained progress to
establish democracy, guarantee the rule of law, and protect human rights. The
bill authorizes assistance for liberalizing laws affecting religious practice
and their enforcement. The act authorizes $15 million for fiscal year 2006
and each subsequent fiscal year for Voice of America and RFE/RL for expanded
radio broadcasting to the people of the countries of Central Asia. In
order to be eligible for assistance, the President must certify that the
countries of Central Asia meet the following criteria: democratization, freedom
of expression and the media; freedom of religion, association, and the right of
peaceful assembly; prevention of torture; and respect for the rule of law and
nondiscrimination. Finally, countries face a 33% reduction in assistance
each year that they are not certified by the President.


China

H. Res. 43-E.U. Arms Embargo on China

A resolution urging the European Union to maintain its arms export embargo on the People's Republic of China.

This resolution urges the European Council to continue to maintain its
embargo on the sales of arms to the People's Republic of China.
Additionally, it makes reference to the September 2004 classification
of the People's Republic of China as a Country of Particular Concern
for engaging in severe violations of religious freedom, including
continued suppression of religious groups perceived to be threatening
to government authority or national stability. The resolution also
expresses the concerns of the House of Representatives over the
continuing human rights conditions inside the People's Republic of
China; and encourages the United States Government and the European
Union to join together in a cooperative effort to develop a common
strategy to seek improved human rights conditions in the People's
Republic of China.

H.Res. 608- Condemning Religious Persecution in the People's Republic of China

Condemning the escalating levels of religious persecution in the People's Republic of China.

This resolution calls for condemning the imprisonment of religious
leaders and people of faith in the People's Republic of China and urges
their release. It also expresses the Sense of the House of
Representatives that U.S. policy should be to promote and defend
religious freedom and freedom of conscience in China.

H. Con. Res. 83-Resolution to End Human Rights Violations

Urging
the appropriate representative of the United States to the 61st Session
of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to introduce a
resolution calling upon the Government of the People's Republic of
China to end its human rights violations in China, and for other
purposes.

The resolution states that Congress urges the Government of the People's
Republic of China to take the necessary measures to stop the persecution of all
religious practitioners and to safeguard fundamental human rights; to release
from detention all prisoners of conscience, persons held because of their
religious beliefs, and persons of humanitarian concern; to allow the Chinese
people to freely and openly practice their religious beliefs and organize their
religious communities according to the dictates of conscience; and, to
immediately allow without restriction, visits to China by the United States
Commission on International Religious Freedom, the United Nations Special
Rapporteurs on Religious Intolerance and Torture, and the International
Committee of the Red Cross.

S.Res.91- E.U. Arms Embargo on China

A resolution urging the European Union to maintain its arms export embargo on the People's Republic of China.

The resolution states that Congress urges the European Union to
maintain its arms embargo on the People's Republic of China. Human
rights conditions in China have not changed since the 1989 incident in
Tiananmen Square and therefore there is no legitimate reason to lift
the embargo. Congress warns that such action would allow the People's
Republic of China to gain military modernization that would threaten
Taiwan, and disrupt peace and security in the East Asia and Pacific
region. Lifting the embargo on China would also necessitate a
reevaluation by the United States of procedures for licensing arms and
dual-use exports to member states of the European Union. The resolution
also expresses congressional concern over China's continuing
proliferation of technology related weapons of mass destruction to
other countries. The Resolution includes a proviso which reads: "
Whereas the People's Republic of China remains a primary supplier of
weapons to countries such as Burma and Sudan where, according to the
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, the
military has played a key role in the oppression of religious and
ethnic minorities."


Egypt

H.Res. 413-U.S. Aid to Egypt

Expressing the concern of the House of Representatives regarding the amount
of United States foreign assistance provided to Egypt over the past 25 years
without meaningful political reforms by the Government of Egypt, and for other
purposes.

A number of the USCIRF's findings and recommendations are included in this
resolution. The resolution calls on the Government of Egypt to, among
other things, meet its obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; implement
procedures that would ensure that all places of worship are afforded equal
treatment and protection, and; take all appropriate steps to prevent and punish
acts of anti-Semitism, including condemnation of anti-Semitic acts, and, while
vigorously protecting freedom of expression, counteract anti-Semitic rhetoric in
the government-controlled media and other organized anti-Semitic
activities. Additionally, the resolution calls on the United States to
offer direct assistance to eligible Egyptian human rights and other civil
society groups, which seek to strengthen democratic principles and promote the
rule of law, without the prior approval of the Government of Egypt, and;
negotiate an agreement with the Government of Egypt to establish a timetable for
progress on political and human rights reforms.

H.R. 1670- Egyptian Counter-terrorism and Political Reform Act

The act makes a number of findings, including that
officials of the Government of Egypt allow anti-Semitic articles and cartoons to
flood the semi-official Egyptian press, and that the Coptic Christian minority
of between 6 and 10 million in Egypt is victimized regularly. The act
presents a sense of Congress that the amount of United States military
assistance that would have been provided for Egypt for a fiscal year should be
provided in the form of economic support fund assistance and that such
assistance should be in addition to economic support fund assistance already
proposed to be provided for Egypt.


India

H.Res.160-Urging the United States to condemn all violations of religious freedom in India


Condemning the conduct of Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his actions
to incite religious persecution and urging the United States to condemn
all violations of religious freedom in India.

The
resolution expresses a sense of Congress condemning Chief Minister
Narendra Modi for condoning or inciting bigotry and intolerance against
any religious groups in India, including people of the Christian and
Islamic faiths; and urges the United States to condemn violations of
religious freedom and to promote and assist other governments in
promotion of the fundamental right to freedom of religion. Includes a
proviso which reads: "Whereas the United States Commission on
International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has confirmed in its May 2004
report that since the political party of Chief Minister Modi took
office in 1998, there have been ‘hundreds of attacks on Christian
leaders, worshipers, and churches throughout India, including killings,
torture, rape and harassment of church staff, destruction of church
property, and disruption of church events; Whereas USCIRF has confirmed
in its May 2004 report that the state government in Gujarat led by
Chief Minister Modi has been widely accused of being reluctant to bring
the perpetrators of the killings of Muslims and non-Hindus to justice."


Iran

H.R. 282 and S. 333- Iran Freedom Support Act

The legislation authorizes the President to provide financial and political
assistance to foreign and domestic individuals, organizations and entities that
support and promote democracy in Iran. Financial and political assistance
may be provided to an individual, organization or entity that officially opposes
the use of terrorism; advocates the adherence by Iran to nonproliferation
regimes for nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and materiel; is dedicated
to democratic values and supports the adoption of democratic reform of
government in Iran; is dedicated to respect for human rights, including the
fundamental equality of women; works to establish equality of opportunity for
people; and supports freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of
association and freedom of religion.


North Korea

H.Con.Res.168-Condemning Human Rights Violations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Condemning the conduct of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for
the abductions and continued activity of citizens of the Republic of
Korea and Japan as acts of terrorism and gross violations of human
rights.

In particular, the resolution
expresses concern for Reverend Kim Dong-shik, on the issue of forced
abductions and captivity. Additionally, the resolution expresses the
sense of Congress that: (1) condemns the Government of the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea for the abduction and continued captivity of
citizens of the Republic of Korea and Japan as acts of terrorism and
gross violations of human rights; (2) calls upon the North Korean
Government to immediately cease and desist from carrying out
abductions, release all victims of kidnapping and prisoners-of-war
still alive in North Korea, and provide a full and verifiable
accounting of all other cases; (3) recognizes that resolution of the
nuclear issue with North Korea is of critical importance, however, this
should not preclude United States Government officials from raising
abduction cases and other critical human rights concerns in any future
negotiations with the North Korean regime; (4) calls upon the United
States Government not to remove the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea from the Department of State's list of State Sponsors of
Terrorism until such time that North Korea renounces state-sponsored
kidnapping and provides a full accounting of all abduction cases; and
(5) admonishes the Government of the People's Republic of China for the
forced repatriation to North Korea of Han Man-taek, a South Korean
prisoner-of-war and comrade-in-arms of the United States, and for its
failure to exercise sovereign control over teams of North Korean agents
operating freely within its borders.

Russia

S.Con.Res.46- Expressing Support for Religious Freedom In Russia

A
resolution expressing the sense of the Congress that the Russian
Federation should fully protect the freedoms of all religious
communities without distinction, whether registered and unregistered,
as stipulated by the Russian Constitution and international standards.

Expresses
the sense of Congress that the United States should: (1) urge the
government of the Russian Federation to ensure full protection of
freedoms for all religious communities and end the harassment of
unregistered religious groups; (2) continue to raise concerns with the
government of the Russian Federation over violations of religious
freedom; and (3) urge the Council of Europe, the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the United Nations (UN)
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief to raise with
Russian Federation officials issues relating to freedom of religion.

H. Con. Res. 190-Religious Community Registration in Russia

This resolution presents a sense of Congress that the United States should
urge the Russian Federation to ensure full protection of freedoms for all
religious communities without distinction, whether registered and unregistered,
and end the harassment of unregistered religious groups by the security
apparatus and other government agencies; urge the Russian Federation to ensure
that law enforcement officials vigorously investigate acts of violence against
unregistered religious communities, as well as make certain that authorities are
not complicit in such attacks; continue to raise concerns with the Government of
the Russian Federation over violations of religious freedom, including those
against unregistered religious communities, especially indigenous denominations
not well known in the United States; ensure that United States Embassy officials
engage local officials throughout the Russian Federation, especially when
violations of freedom of religion occur, and undertake outreach activities to
educate local officials about the rights of unregistered religious communities;
urge both the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chair-in-Office on Combating
Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, also focusing on Intolerance and
Discrimination against Christians and Members of Other Religions, and the United
Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief to visit the Russian
Federation and raise with federal and local officials concerns about the free
practice of unregistered religious communities; and urge the Council of Europe
and its member countries to raise with Russian Federation officials issues
relating to freedom of religion, especially in light of the Russian Federation's
responsibilities as President of the Council in 2006.


Saudi Arabia

H.R.505- Prohibit Aid to Saudi Arabia Act
To prohibit assistance to Saudi Arabia.

The resolution states that due to findings that the Saudi Arabian
government has provided funding for major terrorist organizations and
textbooks inciting violence against non-Muslims, as well as Saudi
Arabia's interest in acquiring nuclear weapons from Pakistan, funds
appropriated for foreign operations, export financing, and related
programs to be obligated or expended for Saudi Arabia should be
prohibited. Includes such prohibition of direct loans, credits,
insurance, and guarantees of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Includes a
proviso, which reads, "The United States Commission on International
Religious Freedom has reported that Saudi Arabian Government - funded
textbooks used both in Saudi Arabia and also in North American Islamic
schools and mosques have been found to encourage incitement to violence
against non-Muslims."

H.R. 2037 and S. 1171- Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2005

This bill includes the United States Commission on International Religious
Freedom's finding that Saudi Arabian Government-funded textbooks used both in
Saudi Arabia and also in North American Islamic schools and mosques have been
found to encourage incitement to violence against non-Muslims. The bill also
includes a provision requiring the President to prohibit the export to the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and prohibit the issuance of a license for the export
to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of any item identified on the Commerce Control
List maintained under part 774 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations.
The Commission has recommended that the U.S. government prohibit any agency or
instrumentality of the government of Saudi Arabia responsible for committing
particularly severe violations of religious freedom from being issued any
licenses for the export of any item on the U.S. Commerce Control
List.


Uzbekistan

H. Con. Res. 187-Uzbekistan

The resolution presents a sense of Congress that the Government of Uzbekistan
should accelerate democratic reforms and fulfill its human rights obligations by
releasing from prison all individuals jailed for peaceful political activism or
the nonviolent expression of their political or religious beliefs; and;
permitting the free exercise of religious beliefs and ceasing the persecution of
members of religious groups and denominations not registered with the
government. Additionally, the resolution presents a sense of Congress that
the President, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense should raise at the
highest levels with the Government of Uzbekistan the concern of the United
States for greater respect for human rights and democratic freedoms in
Uzbekistan and related conditions for United States assistance; and, ensure that
United States assistance does not benefit the security forces of Uzbekistan
that have been implicated in violations of human rights; and, support those
individuals, nongovernmental organizations and media outlets in Uzbekistan
working to establish a more open society and a transparent, democratic system of
government.

Vietnam

H.R. 3190-Vietnam Human Rights Act

The act presents findings of Congress stating that the Government of Vietnam
continues to detain and imprison persons for the peaceful expression of
dissenting religious and political views. The act states that, in
order to receive bilateral non-humanitarian assistance, the Government of
Vietnam must make substantial progress toward the following: releasing all
political and religious prisoners from imprisonment; respecting the right to
freedom of religion, including the right to participate in religious activities
and institutions without interference by or involvement of the Government;
returning estates and properties confiscated from the churches; allowing
Vietnamese nationals free and open access to United States refugee programs; and
respecting the human rights of members of the ethnic minority groups in the
Central Highlands or elsewhere in Vietnam. The act requires that the
Secretary of State submit to Congress a report on efforts by the United States
government to secure transmission sites for Radio Free Asia in countries in
close geographical proximity to Vietnam, and a description of the development of
the rule of law in Vietnam.

H.Con.Res.320- Prisoners of Conscience in Vietnam

Calling
on the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to immediately
and unconditionally release Dr. Pham Hong Son and other political
prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and other purposes.

Among other things, finds that the continuing arbitrary imprisonment
and persecution of peaceful democratic and religious activists for
reasons related to their political or religious views is deplorable.
Includes a Sense of Congress urging the government of Vietnam to allow
unfettered access to Western Diplomats, humanitarian organizations and
journalists to the Central Highlands and the Northwest Highlands where
there have been credible reports that ethnic minorities are suffering
from numerous violations of their human rights, among these are
restrictions on religious practice; and applauding the European
Parliament for its December 2005 resolution calling on Vietnamese
authorities to stop acts of repression against members of the Unified
Buddhist Church of Vietnam and to officially recognize their existence
and that of other non-recognized churches in the country. H.CON.RES.
320 further calls for: (1) the immediate release of political prisoners
and prisoners of conscience detained for peacefully exercising their
rights to freedom of opinion, expression, press, and religion; (2) the
release of Dr. Pham Hong Son to remain a top concern; and (3) for the
U.S. to continue to urge the Government of Vietnam to comply with
internationally recognized standards for basic freedoms and human
rights.


Anti-Semitism

H.Res.39- Strengthening of the fight against racism, intolerance, bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, and anti-Semitism

Commending countries and organizations for marking the 60th anniversary
of the liberation of Auschwitz and urging a strengthening of the fight
against racism, intolerance, bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, and
anti-Semitism.

Recognizes the sacrifices,
service, and dedication of Allied soldiers and partisans and
underground fighters that resulted in the defeat of the Nazi regime and
the liberation of Auschwitz and other World War II concentration camps.
Expresses gratitude to individuals and organizations that assisted
survivors of Nazi brutality. Commends countries marking the 60th
anniversary (on January 27, 2005) of the liberation of Auschwitz, as
well as the United Nations General Assembly and other international
organizations, for honoring Holocaust victims and increasing awareness
of the Holocaust. Urges all countries to strengthen efforts to fight
racism, intolerance, bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, and
anti-Semitism. Urges governments and educators to teach the lessons of
the Holocaust so that future generations will understand that racial,
ethnic, and religious intolerance and prejudice can lead to the
genocide carried out in camps such as Auschwitz.

H.Res.54-Anti-Semitism in the United Nations
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding anti-Semitism at the United Nations, and for other purposes.

This bill welcomes recent United Nations (UN) attempts to address the
issue of anti-Semitism, and calls on the UN to condemn anti-Semitic
statements in its meetings and hold member states accountable for such
statements. Urges the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) to develop and implement Holocaust education
programs. Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the
President should direct the Secretary of State to: (1) include in the
Department of State's annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
and annual Report on International Religious Freedom information on UN
and constituent body compliance with international human rights
treaties and norms relating to anti-Semitism; and (2) use projects
funded through the Middle East Partnership Initiative and U.S. overseas
broadcasts to educate Arab and Muslim countries about anti-Semitism,
religious intolerance, and incitement to violence.