FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2001
Lawrence J. Goodrich, Communications Director, (202) 523-3240, ext. 27
WHAT:The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom will testify at a joint hearing of the House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights and the Subcommittee on Africa regarding its new recommendations for promoting religious freedom in Sudan. Commissioner Michael K. Young will testify on the Commission's behalf at the hearing titled "America's Sudan Policy: A New Direction?"
WHEN:Wednesday, March 28, 2001 at 2:30 p.m.
WHERE:Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2172
BACKGROUND:The Commission released its 2001 report on Sudan on March 21. Repeating its view that Sudan is "the world's most violent abuser of the right to freedom of religion and belief," the Commission is calling on the Bush administration and Congress to step up efforts to help end that country's 18-year civil war. The fighting has killed approximately 2 million people and displaced 4 million others.
Since May 2000, the government of Sudan has intensified the deliberate air raids on civilian and humanitarian targets. While the Clinton administration did take some steps to address the situation, including successfully working to prevent Sudan from taking a seat at the UN Security Council and earmarking aid to communities in southern Sudan and to the political opposition - the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) - these actions fell well short of the comprehensive, sustained campaign that the Commission believes is commensurate with the Sudanese government's abuses. The Commission is urging the Bush administration to mount such a campaign. Copies of the report can be obtained by contacting the Commission's communications department at (202) 523-3240. The report can also be found 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."
Hon. Elliott Abrams,Chair
- Dr. Firuz Kazemzadeh,Vice Chair, Rabbi David Saperstein, Laila Al-Marayati, M.D.Hon. John R. Bolton, Dean Michael K. Young, Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, Nina Shea, Justice Charles Z. Smith, Ambassador Robert Seiple, Ex-Officio, Steven T. McFarland, Executive Director