USCIRF Hearing: Targeted Sanctions - Implications for International Religious Freedom

Oct 27


Oct 27th 10:30am - Oct 27th 12:00pm

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Hearing

Targeted Sanctions: Implications for International Religious Freedom

Wednesday, October 27, 2021
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Virtual Hearing

Hearing Transcript

Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for a virtual hearing that will consider how the U.S. government can advance international religious freedom through targeted sanctions.

Through the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and the related 2017 executive order, E.O. 13818, the U.S. government can issue visa bans and asset freezes against foreign persons involved in “serious human rights abuses,” including violations of religious freedom. Visa bans are also possible through Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act. These tools have been used to impose consequences on violators of religious freedom in a variety of contexts, including Burma, China, Iran, and Russia. These examples represent only a small percentage of the religious freedom violations occurring globally. A more effective targeted sanctions regimen can contribute to deterring religious freedom violators, holding perpetrators accountable, leading to a world where all are free to practice their religion or belief.

With legislative authority for Global Magnitsky sanctions expiring in 2022, the reauthorization process presents an opportunity to strengthen and expand targeted sanctions programs. Witnesses will explain how sanctions are utilized within the broader U.S. foreign policy strategy to address religious freedom violations and discuss ways to use these tools to curtail such violations.

Opening Remarks

Panel I

Panel II

  • Hon. Tom Andrews, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar
    Written Testimony

Witnesses’ Bios


Submitted for the Record:

Statement of Bhupindar Singh and Boota Singh Kharoudh

Statement of Armenian Assembly of America


This hearing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the public, and the media. Members of the media should register online and can email for any questions or to schedule an interview. The video recording of the hearing will be posted on the Commission website. For any additional questions, please contact Nina Ullom at or (202) 322-0232.