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Commission to Testify Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

May 15, 2000

Lawrence J. Goodrich, Communications Director, (202) 523-3240

WHAT: Members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom will testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing on the Commission's first annual report, issued May 1. Commission Chair Rabbi David Saperstein and Commissioners Elliott Abrams, Firuz Kazemzadeh, and Nina Shea will testify.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 16, 2000 at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: 419 Dirksen Building

BACKGROUND: The Commission issued its first annual report to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress on May 1. The Commission made recommendations on China, Sudan, and Russia, most notably recommending that Congress grant China Permanent Normal Trade Relations status only after China makes substantial improvement in respect for religious freedom. In addition to the remarks of Chairman Saperstein, Commissioner Abrams will testify about China, Commissioner Kazemzadeh about Russia, and Commissioner Shea about Sudan. The full report can be found on the Commission's Web site at www.uscirf.gov. Robert Seiple, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and an ex officio member of the Commission, will be representing the Administration on these issues.

Rabbi David Saperstein, Chair

  • Dean Michael K. Young, Vice Chair Hon. Elliott Abrams Laila Al-Marayati, M.D. Hon. John R. Bolton Firuz Kazemzadeh Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick Nina Shea Justice Charles Z. Smith Ambassador Robert Seiple, Ex-Officio Steven T. McFarland, Executive Director