FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2002
Lawrence J. Goodrich, Communications Director, (202) 523-3240, ext. 27
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent federal agency advising the Administration and Congress, tomorrow will release its report and recommendations on North Korea during a Congressional Human Rights Caucus briefing on human rights in North Korea. Commission Chair Michael K. Young will testify about the Commission's findings on religious freedom violations and its recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress on how U.S. foreign policy can promote religious freedom and other human rights in North Korea. Also testifying will be the Hon. Lorne W. Craner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and other experts on North Korea.
What:Congressional Human Rights Caucus briefing on human rights in North Korea, chaired by Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).
Where:Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2203.
When:Wednesday, April 17, 1:30pm - 3:00pm.
Background:The people of North Korea are perhaps the least free people on earth - religious freedom does not exist there. The country is also a humanitarian disaster of unimaginable proportions. The Commission has extensively studied the situation there, including holding a public hearing in January 2002. The Commission's recommendations to the Administration and Congress call for increased U.S. and international efforts against human rights violations in North Korea, help for North Korean refugees in China, and the promotion of religious freedom through official U.S.-North Korean contacts.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Six Commissioners are appointed by the leadership of Congress and three by the President.
Chairman Young will be available to members of the press for interviews after his remarks. Copies of the report will be available at the press conference and on the Commission's 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."
Michael K. Young,Chair
- Felice D. Gaer, Firuz Kazemzadeh, Richard D. Land, Bishop William Francis Murphy, Leila Nadya Sadat, Nina Shea, The Hon. Charles R. Stith, The Hon. Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Tad Stahnke, Acting Executive Director