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Press Releases & Statements

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. 
USCIRF expressed outrage over the selection of China for the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council Consultative Group. 
USCIRF expressed its concern over reports that religious minority groups from around the world have faced discrimination because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Religious communities have been harassed and accused of bringing COVID-19 to their countries.
USCIRF welcomed the release of Adya Expósito Leyva, the wife of Pastor Ramón Rigal.

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