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107th Congress: 2001-2002

Central Asia
North Korea


Public Law 107-327

S. 2712 - Afghanistan Freedom Support Act
A bill to authorize economic and democratic development
assistance for Afghanistan and to authorize military assistance
for Afghanistan and certain other foreign countries.

Among other things, the act states that assistance to Afghanistan
should "foster the growth of a pluralistic society that promotes
and respects religious freedom" Some of the USCIRF's
recommendations were incorporated into the final version of the
Act. They include: urging the President to use his diplomatic resources
to promote the expansion of the ISAF beyond Kabul; authorizing assistance
to programs to promote religious freedom in school curriculums,
to programs in support of drafting a constitution that protects
religious freedom, and to programs to strengthen a civil society
that respects religious freedom; authorizing assistance to women
and girls in the area of human rights, including religious freedom;
and expressing the Sense of Congress that the United States should
support training of the military, police and legal personnel on
human rights in Afghanistan.


Central Asia

S.J.Res. 50 - Central Asia/ Human

A joint resolution expressing the sense of the Senate with respect
to human rights in Central Asia.

Expresses a Sense of Congress that the governments of Uzbekistan,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan should, among
other things, release from prison all those jailed for peaceful
political activism or religious belief, investigate all allegations
of torture and prosecute those responsible, permit the free exercise
of religious beliefs, and cease the persecution of religious minorities
and non-state registered religious denominations; U.S. assistance
to these governments should not benefit security forces implicated
in human rights violations, and that increased aid due to their
support during the war in Afghanistan ought to be sustained only
if there is substantial and continuing progress toward meeting human
rights goals; and the U.S. should follow the USCIRF's recommendation
to designate Turkmenistan a CPC, and make it clear to Uzbekistan
that it risks CPC designation if human rights conditions do not
improve there.



H.Con.Res. 73 - China/Olympics
Expressing the Sense of Congress that the 2008 Olympic Games should
not be held in Beijing unless the Government of the People's
Republic of China releases all political prisoners, ratifies the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and observes
internationally recognized human rights.

The resolution quotes the Department of State's 2000 Human
Rights Report descriptions of human rights abuses, noting that "The
Government continued to restrict freedom of religion and intensified
controls on some unregistered churches;" calls for the creation
of an international "Beijing Olympic Games Human Rights Campaign,"
which would focus on pressuring China to release all political prisoners
and to ratify the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights before
the Games; calls on the Secretary of State to publicly endorse the
campaign and promote it among our allies and others engaged in a
human rights dialogue with China; requests that the President call
for the same measures during his participation in the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leader's Summit this fall in Shanghai;
and recommends that the Congressional-Executive Commission on China
created by H.R. 4444 "devote significant resources to monitoring
any violations of the rights of political dissidents and political
prisoners, or other increased abuses of internationally-recognized
human rights in the preparation to the 2008 Olympic Games and during
the Olympic Games themselves." (The Commission recommended
in its 2001 Annual Report that China not be granted the Olympics
until significant and sustained improvements are made in religious
freedom and human rights there.)



H.Res. 393 - Europe/ Anti-Semitism
Concerning the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe.

Reflects the views of the Commission made public in a 4/15/02 statement.
The resolution finds that there has been a significant rise in anti-Semitic
attacks in Europe over the past 18 months fueled by continued violence
in the Middle East, and expresses a Sense of Congress that "the
governments of Europe should take all necessary steps to protect
the safety and well-being of their respective Jewish communities"
and should "make a concerted effort to cultivate an atmosphere
of cooperation and reconciliation among the Jewish and non-Jewish
residents of Europe."


S.Res. 253 - Europe/ Anti-Semitism
and Religious Intolerance

Reiterating the Sense of the Senate regarding Anti-Semitism and
religious intolerance in Europe.

Reflecting the views of the Commission made public in a 4/15/02
statement, the resolution notes a rise in attacks on Jewish communities
in Europe over the past 18 months, calls on European governments
to investigate the crimes and punish the perpetrators to the full
extent possible, and calls upon the Administration and Congress
to raise this issue in bilateral contacts. Also expresses Sense
of Congress calling on European governments to "acknowledge
publicly and without reservation the anti-Semitic character of the
attacks as violations of human rights," to condemn the rationalization
of anti-Jewish attacks as a result of the situation in the Middle
East, and to take measures to ensure the security of Jewish citizens
and institutions; suggests the State Department should thoroughly
document this phenomenon in Europe and worldwide in its human rights
reports; and urges the USCIRF to continue to document and report
on it as well.


North Korea

S.Con.Res. 114 - North Korea/Refugees

A Concurrent Resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding
North Korean refugees in China and those who are returned to North
Korea where they face torture, imprisonment, and execution.

The resolution calls on the PRC to make an effort to identify and
protect North Korean refugees, allow them to petition for asylum,
give the UNHCR access to the North Korean refugees in China, and
to halt the repatriations of refugees seeking asylum. The resolution
also notes that North Koreans do not enjoy freedoms of speech, religion,
press, assembly, or association, and that followers of prohibited
religious beliefs are severely punished, and encourages the U.S.
government to consider asylum and refugee claims of North Koreans
arising from fear of persecution; urges the North Korean government
to alleviate the suffering of its people, to respect their universally
recognized human rights, and to take steps to implement the North-South
Joint Declaration agreed to on 6/15/00.



H.Res. 348 - Pakistan/ Religious

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect
to violations in Pakistan of the freedom of individuals to profess
and practice religion or belief.

Calls on President Musharraf to repeal the Blasphemy Law and Martial
Ordinance XX, and to release prisoners jailed under these laws;
repeal the 8th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan that declares
Ahmadis `not Muslims'; and encourages him to eliminate the requirement
to declare one's religion when applying for a passport or admission
to an educational institution, a national identity card, or employment.
Also calls on the President and the Secretary of State to raise
violations of freedom of religion at every appropriate level with
representatives of the Government of Pakistan, including during
discussions on terrorism and nuclear proliferation and to include
experts on religious freedom on U.S. delegations to Pakistan and
to appropriate regional and international meetings.



S.Res. 213 - Russia/ Chechnya
A resolution condemning human rights violations in Chechnya and
urging a political solution to the conflict.

Expresses a Sense of the Senate that "the war on terrorism
does not excuse, and is ultimately undermined by, abuses by Russian
security forces against the civilian population in Chechnya;"
reflecting recommendations made in its letter to President Bush
on October 5, 2001. Also calls on the Russian government to immediately
investigate human rights violations and initiate prosecution against
those accused where appropriate, provide secure and unhindered access
to the area by international monitors and humanitarian organizations,
ensure that refugees are registered in accordance with international
law, receive adequate assistance, and are not forcibly returned
to Chechnya; and urges the President of the United States to ensure
that recipients of U.S. assistance are not implicated in human rights
abuses, to seek information from the Russian government on human
rights abuses, promote negotiations between the Russian and elected
Chechen government, and reexamine the status of Chechen refugees,
including consideration of possible resettlement in the U.S.



Public Law: 107-245
H.R. 5531 - Sudan Peace Act

To facilitate famine relief efforts and a comprehensive solution
to the war in Sudan.

The bill authorizes $100 million a year for fiscal 2003 through
2005 to prepare for democratic governance and establishes reporting
and certification requirements of the President for monitoring the
peace process. The bill instructs the U.S. to oppose international
financial institution loans, credits and guarantees to the GOS,
consider downgrading or suspending diplomatic relations, take steps
to deny the GOS access to oil revenues, and seek a U.N. Security
Council Resolution to impose an arms embargo on the GOS if the President
certifies that the GOS is not engaged in good faith negotiations
for a just and lasting peace, if they have interfered with humanitarian
efforts, or if they are not in compliance with the terms of a permanent
peace agreement; and suggests that the President, acting through
the U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N., seek to take appropriate
measures to end slavery and aerial bombardment of civilians by the


H.Con.Res. 112 - Sudan/Slavery
Regarding the human rights situation in the Republic of the Sudan,
including the practice of chattel slavery and all other forms of
booty and related practices.

This resolution demands that the Government of Sudan facilitate
the reunification of family members separated by slave raids; calls
upon human rights organizations to facilitate safe passage for slave
victims; requests an end to the use of euphemisms such as "abduction"
as substitutes for slavery; and urges the U.S. President to sponsor
a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Government of Sudan
for its participation in slavery-related human rights abuses, create
a "Slave Victims Fund," and spend the funds allocated
for the NDA for fiscal year 2001. The resolution quotes USCIRF's
March 21st Sudan report in describing the GOS's human rights


H.Con.Res. 113 - Sudan/Oil

Regarding human rights violations and oil development in Sudan.

The bill urges the President to prohibit oil companies operating
in Sudan from raising capital or trading equities in U.S. capital
markets, echoing a recommendation the Commission made in its Sudan
report issued on March 21st, 2001. It also calls upon oil companies
in Sudan to freeze production until a peace agreement is reached,
slave raids and the bombing of civilians has stopped, political
prisoners are freed, and the state of emergency is lifted; calls
upon the international community to boycott oil from Sudan; urges
U.S. entities and individuals invested in companies involved in
oil development in Sudan to divest; and requests that the President
investigate possible violations of U.S. Sudan sanctions by the April
2000 PetroChina Initial Public Offering.



H.R. 2833 -
Vietnam Human Rights Act

To promote freedom and democracy in Vietnam.

This bill quotes the chapter on Vietnam in the USCIRF's 2001
Annual Report extensively in citing the Government of Vietnam's
persecution of religious groups. It expresses concern that the U.S.-Vietnam
Bilateral Trade Agreement "not be construed as a statement
of approval or complacency" regarding the Government of Vietnam's
human rights and religious freedom abuses. It prohibits any new
or any increase in existing bilateral non-humanitarian assistance
to the Government of Vietnam until it makes significant progress
toward respecting the right to freedom of religion and releasing
all political and religious prisoners, among other things; and requires
that the U.S. oppose non-humanitarian aid from international financial
institutions if the President certifies that the government of Vietnam
commits gross violations of internationally recognized human rights
(including religious freedom). The bill authorizes assistance to
organizations committed to promoting human rights and democracy
in Vietnam, it declares it to be the policy of the United States
to overcome the jamming of Radio Free Asia (authorizing funds to
that end in fiscal years 2002 and 2003), and it promotes cultural
exchange programs. The original bill established a Congressional-Executive
Commission on Relations with Vietnam, constructed similar to the
China Commission created by the China PNTR bill (H.R. 4444). However,
the version that passed the House eliminated this language. Instead
it requires the Secretary of State to produce an annual report to
Congress on progress being made on the above issues. Lastly, the
bill declares it to be the policy of the United States to offer
refugee resettlement to nationals of Vietnam who are deemed ineligible
due to administrative error or reasons beyond their control or who
were unable to apply for such programs within deadlines imposed
by the Department of State. (The USCIRF recommended Congress ratify
the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) only after it passed
a sense of the Congress resolution calling for the Vietnamese government
to undertake substantial improvements in religious freedom. The
House passed this bill immediately before voting on the BTA.)



Public Law 107-228
H.R. 1646 - Foreign Relations Authorization Act

To authorize appropriations for the Department of State for fiscal
years 2002 and 2003, and for other purposes.

Among other things, authorizes $260 million for educational, cultural,
and public diplomacy, $820 million for refugee and migration assistance,
and $485 million for International Broadcasting Operations, including
$35 million for Radio Free Asia, over $13 million for broadcasting
capital improvements, over $25 million for broadcasting to Cuba,
and an additional $20 million for the Middle East Radio Network
of Voice of America; requires the Secretary of State to submit a
report containing a plan to achieve public diplomacy objectives,
creates an Advisory Committee on Cultural Diplomacy; instructs the
U.S. to make an effort to secure a seat on the UN Commission on
Human Rights and prevent membership of any member nation that the
Secretary of State determines to be in violation of human rights
or religious freedom; directs the President and the Secretary of
State to encourage the PRC and the Dalai Lama to negotiate an agreement
on Tibet and request in meetings with representatives from China
the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of political
or religious belief in Tibet; instructs the U.S. Ambassador to China
to call for the cessation of interference by the government in the
religious affairs of the Tibetan People; notes the U.S. should establish
a branch office in Lhasa to monitor the political economic and cultural
developments in Tibet; through USAID, authorizes the President $25
million to support the development of civil society (including establishing
accountability for past human rights violations) in East Timor;
states that promoting and protecting human rights is in the national
interest of the U.S. and increases the budget for the Bureau of
Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, designates $21.5 million for
the Human Rights and Democracy Fund; recommends that there should
continue to be a U.S. Envoy for Peace in Sudan until a comprehensive
settlement to the conflict that is acceptable to both parties is
implemented; and expresses the Sense of Congress that the Indonesian
government should make substantial progress toward ending human
rights violations by the armed forces and investigate those responsible
for the violations.