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
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.