Click here to view the Presentation and Discussion of USCIRF's 2013 Annual Report at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Panelists included USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett; Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations and Board of Directors, NED; Louisa Greve, VP for Asia, Middle East and Global Programs, NED; and John Knaus Senior Program Officer for Asia, NED. NED President Carl Gershman moderated the event.
The Report highlights the status of religious freedom globally and identifies those governments that are the most egregious violators.
For the 2013 Annual Report, USCIRF recommends that the Secretary of State redesignate Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan as CPCs. USCIRF also finds that seven other countries meeting the CPC threshold and should be so designated: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.
USCIRF also has concluded that the following eight countries meet the Tier 2 standard in this reporting period: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, and Russia.
...that hundreds of prisoners of conscience remain in Iranian prisons even as the country went to the polls last week to elect a new President?
Last month, the UK-based Guardian newspaper launched on online database that identified some 2,500 prisoners of conscience who either are languishing in Iranian jails or awaiting a call from authorities to serve out their convictions with prison terms. Among the hundreds of prisoners of conscience are religious minorities, including Baha’is, Christians, Sufis, Zoroastrians, Sunnis, and majority Shi’a clerics and dissidents.
Who We Are
USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties.
What We're About
Inherent in religious freedom is the right to think as we please, believe or not believe as our conscience leads, and live out our beliefs openly, peacefully, and without fear.
We are about freedom…
Freedom of thought and conscience
Freedom of religion or belief
Freedom of expression, association, and assembly
Why Religious Freedom Matters
Religious Freedom Is...
Our first freedom, part of our history and identity as a free nation and enshrined in our First Amendment
A core human right recognized by international law and treaty
A necessary component of our nation’s foreign policy and commitment to defend democracy and freedom globally
A vital element of our national security, critical to ensuring a more peaceful, prosperous, and stable world