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Combating Intolerance in Russia

April 21, 2005

Anne Johnson, Director of Communications, (202) 523-3240, ext. 27

WASHINGTON - Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for an on-the-record briefing regarding the troubling rise of religious intolerance in the Former Soviet Union, and efforts that are being made to combat it.

The discussion will feature a leading human rights advocate in Russia, Valentin Gefter, General Director of the Human Rights Institute, Moscow; and representatives of an innovative religious tolerance program operating in Russia, Colonel Boronbekov of Russian Law Enforcement (MVD), and Pnina Levermore, Executive Director of the Bay Area Council for Jewish Rescue and Renewal.

Mr. Gefter is currently in Washington, D.C. as a Galina Starovoitva Fellow at the Kennan Institute. Ms. Levermore is the founder of the Climate of Trust program, which is an exchange of Russian and American police officers, District Attorneys, judges and community leaders to promote tolerance and fight anti-Semitism in the Former Soviet Union. Colonel Boronbekov is the Russian Coordinator of the Climate of Trust program.

WHO:Colonel Sultonbek Boronbekov, Ms. Pnina Levermore, Mr. Valentin Gefter

WHEN: April 26, 2005, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
800 North Capitol St. NW, Suite #790
Washington, DC 20002

Please RSVP to Caroline Gobble at  cgobble@uscirf.gov or (202) 523-3240, ext. 24.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and the Congress.

Preeta D. Bansal, Chair
  • Felice D. Gaer, Vice Chair Nina Shea,Vice Chair Archbishop Charles J. ChaputMichael CromartieKhaled Abou El FadlElizabeth H. ProdromouBishop Ricardo RamirezMichael K. YoungAmbassador John V. Hanford III,Ex-Officio Joseph R. Crapa, Executive Director