Welcome to USCIRF

Defending Freedoms Project

In December 2012, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and Amnesty International USA, launched the Defending Freedoms Project with the aim of supporting human rights and religious freedom throughout the world with a particular focus on prisoners of conscience.

Specifically, Members of Congress “adopt” prisoners of conscience, standing in solidarity with these brave men and women, while committing to advocate publicly for their release. 

Prisoner of Conscience Country Congressioanal Advocate

The Panchen Lama


Representative McGovern

Gulmira Imin


Zhang Shaojie


Representative Meadows

Alimujiang Yimiti China

Representative Allen

Representative Allen


Gao Zhisheng


China None


Bishop James Su Zhimin


China None

Patriarch Abune Antonios

Eritrea None


Ayatollah Mohammad Kazemeini


Iran None

Ivan Matsitsky

Russia None

Raif Badawi
Saudi Arabia
Representative McGovern

The Most Venerable
Thich Quang Do
Representative Lowenthal


More information on the Defending Freedoms Project.