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USCIRF ( U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom) will
announce its 2006 recommendations to Secretary of State

Condoleezza Rice for “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs, at an

on-the-record press conference at the Woodrow Wilson International Center

for Scholars on May 3, 2006.
The Commission will also release its 2006

Annual Report and discuss its findings and recommendations for U.S. policy

for the President, the Secretary of State, and the Congress. The Commission

will also be joined at the press conference by Tibetan Nun Phuntsog Nyidron,

who was recently released from China in advance of the visit by Chinese

President Hu Jintao.
The press conference will be held from 10:00-11:30

a.m. in the 6th floor Board Room of the Woodrow Wilson Center at 1300

Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington , DC . The press conference is open to

all members of the media, the non-governmental, faith-based, and policy

communities. Please see below for RSVP information.

The Commission is mandated by Congress to make recommendations to the

Secretary of State on countries whose governments have engaged in or

tolerated systematic and egregious violations of the universal right to

freedom of religion or belief. Under the 1998 International Religious

Freedom Act (IFRA), those countries may be designated by the Secretary of

State as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs. IRFA also requires

that the U.S. government take follow on policy actions to CPC designation.

In addition to announcing CPCs, the Commission will announce its list of

Watch List countries, those countries where religious freedom conditions do

not rise to the statutory level requiring CPC designation but which require

close monitoring due to the nature and extent of violations of religious

engaged in or tolerated by the governments. The 2006 Annual Report includes

the Commission’s findings and policy recommendations for China , North Korea ,

Sudan , Saudi Arabia , Pakistan , Afghanistan , Iraq , Vietnam , Egypt , Russia ,

Turkmenistan , and Uzbekistan , among others.

Copies of the Commission’s 2006 CPC recommendations to Secretary of State

Rice and its 2006 Annual Report will be available at the press conference

and will also be posted on the Commission’s Web site at www.uscirf.gov.

They can also be obtained by contacting the Commission’s Communications

department at (202) 523-3240. Interviews with Commissioners may be arranged

by contacting Anne Johnson, Communications Director, at (202) 523-3240, ext.

27.