Press Releases & Statements
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.
7/20/17: MALDIVES: Maldives Ruling Party Should Repudiate Attacks on UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief
USCIRF strongly condemns the verbal and online attacks against UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed
USCIRF denounces the Russian Supreme Court ruling on Monday rejecting an appeal by the Jehovah’s Witnesses against an April decision declaring them as extremist.
7/13/17: Open Letter from USCIRF Vice Chair Sandra Jolley to Gulmira Imin on the 8th Anniversary of Her Arrest
Dear Gulmira:I write to you as July 14th comes to an end. On that day eight years ago, as you know all too well, Chinese government officials arrested you. While this open letter may never reach you, I want you to know that as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I am ardently advocating on your behalf.
Muslims around the world recently marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan. “The Chinese government has taken unprecedented steps to trample on the religious freedom of Uighur Muslims particularly during Ramadan,” said USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a May 30 letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling on him to “take steps to address severe violations of religious freedom and other human rights” in Sudan. In the letter, USCIRF called on Secretary Tillerson to maintain existing sanctions on the Sudanese government due to deteriorating religious freedom conditions.
6/13/17: USCIRF Elects Daniel Mark as Commission Chairman; Sandra Jolley and Kristina Arriaga as Vice Chairs
At its June 13 meeting, USCIRF commissioners elected Daniel Mark as the Commission’s new chairman. Dr. Mark is an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University and battalion professor for Villanova’s Navy ROTC unit. In response to his election, Chairman Mark said, “I am greatly honored by the confidence shown in me by my fellow commissioners. I look forward to enhancing USCIRF’s role and voice in monitoring violations and recommending ways U.S. policy can play an even stronger role.”
H.R. 390 would promote accountability for atrocities committed by ISIS and address the urgent humanitarian needs of persecuted religious and/or ethnic minorities targeted for genocide.
USCIRF was saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Firuz Kazemzadeh, one of the first Commissioners appointed to USCIRF Dr. Kazemzadeh was also a professor emeritus of history at Yale, a distinguished member of the American Baha’i community, and a tireless champion of international religious freedom.