FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2001
Lawrence J. Goodrich, Communications Director, (202) 523-3240, ext. 27
Nina Shea, Director of the Center for Religious Freedom of Freedom House in Washington, D.C., has been reappointed to the Commission on International Religious Freedom by Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert. Ms. Shea will serve until May 14, 2003. She served as a Commissioner during the May 15, 1999 to May 14, 2001 term.
Commissioner Shea has been an international human rights lawyer for 22 years and has for 15 years focused specifically on the issue of religious persecution. Before her 1999 appointment to the Commission, Ms. Shea served on the Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom to the U.S. Secretary of State. Ms. Shea has organized and sponsored numerous fact-finding missions to Sudan, China, Egypt, and elsewhere and has testified regularly before Congress on the governments of these and other countries. She is the author of In the Lion's Den, a book on anti-Christian persecution around the world. She was appointed as a public delegate on the U.S. delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1993 and again in 2001.
The Commission consists of nine voting Commissioners and the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, who is a non-voting member. Three Commissioners are selected by the President, two by the leaders of the President's party in Congress, and four by the congressional leaders of the party in opposition to the President. Commissioners serve for a two-year term and are eligible for reappointment. Ms. Shea is the first Commissioner to be named for the term May 15, 2001 to May 14, 2003.
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" />
Hon. Elliott Abrams,Chair