FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2000
Lawrence J. Goodrich, Communications Director, (202) 523-3240
WHAT:Commissioner Elliott Abrams of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and Steven T. McFarland, the Commission's Executive Director, will speak at a discussion of the Commission's first Annual Report, sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.
WHEN:Friday, May 12, 2000 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
WHERE:100 Maryland Ave., NW, Rooms 1 & 2, Washington, DC
BACKGROUND:The Institute on Religion and Public Policy is sponsoring a discussion entitled "Report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom: What It Means for Religious Freedom and U.S. Foreign Policy." The Commission's report was issued May 1 and includes a recommendation that "Congress should grant China Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status only after China makes substantial improvement in respect for religious freedom." The report also recommended giving non-lethal aid to appropriate opposition groups in Sudan if, after a 12-month period, the Khartoum government has not stopped its human rights violations and crimes against humanity. In addition, the report made recommendations on Russia and reviewed the State Department's first Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. The Commission' full report can be found on its Web site at www.uscirf.gov.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and the Congress." src="http://www.uscirf.org/images/layout/subbottomtext1.gif" />
Rabbi David Saperstein,Chair