April 6, 2017
USCIRF publicly launched its Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project at the Capitol Hill Visitor’s Center in Washington, D.C.. USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J., and Commissioners Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz, Tenzin Dorjee, and Sandra Jolley spoke on behalf of their religious prisoners of conscience.
USCIRF cohosted with the Religious News Service/Religious News Foundation a panel discussion on tolerance. The panel discussion focused on the grave humanitarian consequences when religious freedom is violated, the role of education in building tolerance and religious understanding, and the need for members of Congress to set aside partisan differences and continue to travel together to investigate religious persecution firsthand and visit the imprisoned and their families. Panelists were: former Rep. Frank Wolf, former Ambassador-at-Large Rabbi David Saperstein, John Sexton, president emeritus of New York University, and Joyce Dubensky, CEO of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. moderated the panel.
USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese Reese, S.J. and Senior Policy Analyst Tiffany Lynch discussed the newly released USCIRF report Barriers to Protection at a panel discussion held at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonito, Texas.
Burma at the Brink: Religious Freedom Violations Threaten its Future
USCIRF at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. publicly released two reports highlighting Burma’s serious religious freedom challenges: Hidden Plight: Christian Minorities in Burma and Suspended in Time: The Ongoing Persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Burma.
With opening remarks from USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J., panelists included: Rachel Fleming, independent human rights research and activist, and author of Hidden Plight: Christian Minorities in Burma, Susan Hayward, Director at Religion and Inclusive Societies at the United States Institute of Peace, and Tina Mufford, Senior Policy Analyst at USCIRF.
Barriers to Protection – USCIRF Issues Report on the Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Expedited Removal
USCIRF, along with Human Rights First, held an event specific to USCIRF’s report, Barriers to Protection. The report highlights challenges with the U.S. government’s treatment of asylum seekers in Expedited Removal the moment asylum seekers enter the United States. USCIRF’s Director of International Law and Policy, Elizabeth K. Cassidy, and Senior Policy Analyst Tiffany Lynch served as panelists.
USCIRF and CSIS examined the dynamics that drive extremism among some Muslim and Christian communities in parts of Africa and analyzed the threat such extremism poses to security, community cohesion, and social development. The discussions focused on how governments and non-governmental actors (religious communities, civil society, and the media) address the threat of extremism, including examples of successful approaches and what can be learned from these approaches. USCIRF Senior Policy Analyst Tiffany Lynch served as a panelist.
USCIRF hosted a conversation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that examined efforts by grassroots, student, and faith leaders to prevent and combat religious hatred, counter extremism, and improve religious freedom and equality for all, taking into account recent terrorist attacks. Panelists included Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and European civil society leaders. Former USCIRF Commissioner Hannah Rosenthal moderated the panel, and former USCIRF Chair George and former Commissioner Lantos-Swett, along with then Commissioner Zogby provided remarks.