USCIRF welcomed the release of Iranian religious prisoner of conscience Maryam Naghash Zargaran. A Christian convert from Islam, Ms. Zargaran was sentenced in 2013 to four years’ imprisonment on charges of “propagating against the Islamic regime and collusion intended to harm national security.” Commissioner Clifford D. May: Maryam's case exemplified Iran's "flagrant disregard for religious freedom."
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Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project
USCIRF Religious Prisoners of Conscience
Prisoner of Conscience List
Click here for USCIRF's Prisoner of Conscience List which is mandated by Public Law 114-281, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act.
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USCIRF Focus: Blasphemy Laws
Selected Blasphemy Cases seeks to put a human face on blasphemy laws. The individuals highlighted here are only a sample of those who have been negatively impacted by blasphemy laws. For some we have pictures, but for many we do not. Read their stories, the charges against them, and their sentences to better understand the devastating impact of these laws and the need for repeal.
Women and Religious Freedom: Synergies and Opportunities
While a common misperception persists that women’s rights to equality and freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) are clashing rights, the two are actually indivisible and interrelated, as shown in Women and Religious Freedom: Synergies and Opportunities. FoRB is neither a right of “religion” as such, nor an instrument for support of religiously phrased limitations on women’s rights to equality. Harmful practices affecting women and girls cannot be accepted as legitimate manifestations of FoRB because the assertion of one human rights claim cannot be used to extinguish other rights.
Did you know 71 of the world's 195 countries have blasphemy laws? Penalties for violating blasphemy laws in these countries can range from fines to imprisonment and death. USCIRF’s groundbreaking report examines and compares the content of laws prohibiting blasphemy worldwide.
USCIRF strongly condemns the irresponsible and hostile actions taken against Uighur Muslims in Egypt. The government of Egypt continues a campaign of rounding up and deporting these individuals back to China, a country with a record of harsh repression of the Uighur community. USCIRF’s Chairman Daniel Mark said, “These latest moves show a calculated indifference to the Uighur Muslim community.”
USCIRF expressed relief that the Vietnamese government has released religious prisoner of conscience Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh and allowed him, his wife Tran Thi Hong, and their five children to leave the country. Pastor Chinh was sentenced in 2012 to
USCIRF welcomes the White House nomination of Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas as the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. As a Senator from 1996-2011, he was at the forefront of international religious freedom issues.
Bagir: I write recognizing that this letter never may reach you. Through my position as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), I have become aware of your dire situation and have resolved to dedicate my efforts to securing your unconditional release from prison.
USCIRF is increasingly concerned with the escalation of arrests of members of the Baha’i community in Yemen. USCIRF calls for the immediate release of all Baha’i prisoners of conscience and decries the targeting of individuals based solely on their religion or belief.
Commissioner Clifford D. May: Saudi Vision 2030’s aspirations are laudable. Saudi Arabia should become a tolerant and moderate country, but that means accepting some debate and even dissent. That transformation needs to begin now. Releasing Badawi would represent a meaningful step forward.
USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark gave the following remarks at the 2017 Annual 7/20 Falun Gong rally on Capitol Hill on July 20, 2017.
USCIRF strongly condemns the verbal and online attacks against UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed
About the Commission
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.
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…