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Press Releases & Statements

USCIRF welcomed the decision of the Sudanese transitional government to outlaw the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) by making it punishable with up to three years of imprisonment and a fine. According to the United Nations, nine out of 10 Sudanese females aged 15 to 49 have undergone some form of genital mutilation, which can lead to a variety of physical and psychological problems.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released its 2020 Annual Report, documenting significant developments during 2019, including remarkable progress in Sudan and a sharp downward turn in India, and making recommendations to enhance the U.S. government’s promotion of freedom of religion or belief abroad in 2020.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today commended the decision of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to add China to its list of case studies due to concerns about the mass internment of Uighur and other Muslims. 
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today reiterated its call for the Chinese government to release Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, one of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience. On May 15, 1995, His Holiness the Dalai Lama chose the then six-year-old Gedhun to be the 11th Panchen Lama. Three days later, Chinese authorities kidnapped him and his family. He has not been seen or heard from since.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) welcomes Burmese authorities dropping charges of illegal travel against over 200 Rohingya and releasing them from prison. 
USCIRF is elated by news that Iranian religious prisoner of conscience Mr. Mohammed Ali Taheri has been granted asylum in Canada. Mr. Taheri arrived in Toronto on March 8, 2020.
USCIRF welcomed the decision of India’s Supreme Court to relax conditions for the release of individuals detained as “foreigners” in Assam’s detention centers due to concerns with the spread of COVID-19.
USCIRF is troubled by the reports of food aid being denied to Hindus and Christians amid the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan.
Amid efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIRF calls on governments to release all prisoners held because of their religion or belief around the world.
USCIRF urges Houthi authorities to abide by their March 25 public commitment to release Baha’i religious prisoner of conscience Hamid bin Haydara along with 5 other detained Baha’is. 

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