tv Capital News Today CSPAN July 22, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
accompanied by a conversion of an islamic life does not a conversion. the only purpose it seems to say of his denial of their religious identity, and the annihilation religious identity. for it, counseling sessions with members of their own clergy, traditionally part of the conversion process is no longer available to commerce. it used to be that if the individual opted to convert to islam, and meetings were convened where members of my own clergy together with representatives that the islamic faith would be together in order so that i would understand the full implication of my choice. under the former government, these counseling sessions have been suspended, attempts by various human rights lawyers on behalf of religious minorities to challenge days and to restore the sessions have not been
successful to my knowledge today. this, cop equipment experience physical and psychological abuse, both before and after their conversion in marriage, including reports, including documented report of forced prostitution by their house then. sixth, the egyptian government does not require the legal christian identity of coptic women who had returned to their faith communities of origin to be restored to them. we have received some reports that a few numbers of women are able to retain their identity than that for the most part a woman is required to live with their islamic identity until something is done to change the situation. the coptic church has developed some safe houses for the nice women and girls. we have visited them and note
that some provision is being made for their care. in ignorance, fear, shame was a real unwillingness to bring it forward. based on the culinary finance, we recommend the commission actively pursue the following issue. a the reinstatement of counseling sessions for those contemplating conversions to islam. the restoration of christian identity to former converts of this on this return to their original faith. the investigation of all allegations of kidnapping, rape and other acts of violence against women associated with force marriages and conversions of women in the persecution of perpetrators. we encourage the u.s. government
to find out of its democracy funds, programs to work towards freedom of religion in the empowerment of women in the middle east to essential cornerstones of any free society. and finally, mr. chairman, let's get rid of the word allegation. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much for your testimony. this is an indictment of the egyptian government and a practice that's gone on for far too long. as you pointed out in the report as far back as 1976 poke chanute at the third set and i quote, there is pressure being cracked this to prevent islam and married them under terror to muslim husband. it would appear the situation has dramatically worsened based on your testimony and testimonies of other witnesses. and now, as you know, each it is
the tier two country. frankly, it suggests they are taking actions to combat human trafficking. that report just came out in based on the evidence they've read the testimonies of a witness to, i will initiate an effort to get the ambassador at large to follow up at a hearing before the commission the ambassador at large for human trafficking. i know the full capabilities of that office and that individual who is a competent man to be elected each because they deserve to be a tier three country that needs to be put on that list. we wrote the lot that is not just done annually. anytime information warrants that, the country can be either elevated or demoted in terms of its designation. there is tier one, tier two
watch list of many tier three. they do not deserve to be on tier two and we will be admonishing, encouraging and even demanding the reevaluation occur quickly because the situation again, witnesses are bringing this to light. that's where having this hearing because it is such an egregious human rights abuses. our next witness, john mayer like to thank him for traveling yesterday across the atlantic just to be here to present testimony of chief of staff mark malan -- and i 10 family are absolutely convinced of the great work he is doing on behalf of cobb to christians in the other poster and i wish i'd learned up for all to see of all of these missing girls who attended that did that in most
cases are never to be seen again, forced into a marriage and intimidating coerced. so i want to thank mr. meyer for his leadership and for being here, for a flight to be here. i yield the time you would like to consume for his testimony. >> mr. chairman and members of the commission, i'd like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about the tragic coptic girls kidnapping. as he mentioned, mr. president -- mr. chairman, this is the first we assert. i don't think they're part of the interviews. this is circulating in the internet since 2008 and was prepared to fight and english coptic conversation.
so these girls have been kidnapped, rape, forced to convert to islam, forced to marry. you know, the number of crimes are huge. each one is just a load a huge claim. i also had some official documents take off from the human rights association in each it. it's one page, one girl and you can see coming you know, a photo of the beautiful girl and then after she had been kidnapped you see other photos. this is a certificate from a mosque saying that a few days
later you find the same as she got varied from a street man i have many, many of these beautiful girls who are being viewed and appealed. one of them here would have been here they were just taken away and she is 19 years old student and she said she was being played. so these are just parents who went to the human rights organizations to complain and they know and they told the kidnappers and accomplishes are
paid, probably financed. they say one coptic girl is equivalent to $10,050,000 so you can see how attractive is the business. few girls have succeeded to escape and they tell the excuse that the next ample of ngs witnessing since about three weeks on the net in an arabic speaking video. angie was 12 when she was kidnapped. today she is 16. this is what she says. i went out for my school and was followed by his son young people. they pushed me in a taxi and i
love conscience and when i woke up, i found myself in an apartment. the lady was too is other crows chris introduced me to a man named zoltan. they took me in a room, tied my arms on my back and rape me. for other than rape me, one after one. each one seemed to have a desire to cut my body in pieces as it was his enemy and he needs. it's still the one he's see the growth talking. for months i was eaten another lot of lou marx. i was unable to be, drink or sleep. all they wanted was to give me drugs and rape me. for two consecutive days, five men stayed in the room and rape
me. i was awake and able to sleep 24 hours a day. she continued the crying. more than 50 men during these months have said 10 knee. then my father's succeeded in finding me and i came back home. the police security asked me to come for interrogation. the officer did me so hard that this feed to my stomach and back pulled me from a hearing treated me as a street grill. they wanted to force me so to say that i left my family by my own will and nothing of the stories have been. i was only 12 when this has been. why all of this? only because i'm a christian and then continued crying. now everybody around me think some of that girl. they say on the video, i six today to get her bag alone.
the police have done nothing, was of no help and they do not have the right to veto. she is not being. this is an example of one girl. now there is another example of the testimony of the month on that i met her personally, by chance two years ago when the chip. she knew that a french couple would attend the meeting, so she came to see us and she sold her story. she gave me her doctors photo, i doubt did in 2007 at the age of nine team. she wrote on the back the names of her.her and her islamic has been. this is what happened. on the last day of the faculty expands, she went to a
restaurant with a muslim girlfriend offered her a pizza and a coke. she felt dizzy and called her parents, telling them she is coming back home because she's sick. she never came back. despite that threats of the police phone tapping on his courageous mother traced and found the names of his islam as has been, islamist of doctors. one of them was resisted as a terrorist in the security files. she complained of coors to them mubarak. she went to the council as an answer to all of that she had only received silent. when she tried to see mubarak, one of the percentage of the guards told her, if your job is
in the hands of these people, forget about her. her daughter is now wearing, living in drugs. she would continue her studies at the arresting. she will likely be being beaten in the streets because she dared try to answer phone calls. she seems convinced her parents will be killed if she tries to escape. all of the names that the perpetrators, the complicity of police officers, the complicit universe be islamist professors are available. the parents keep hope and to see again their daughter. before a meeting this lady, i was not aware of this type of struggle in each had. but then in france i was not involved in conflicts, limiting this type of activity with the
coptic culture. the heartbroken lady -- this heartbroken lady led me to different personnel commitments. there are methods people are using to reach the target, as you say the methodology. they executed according to a methodology by people who want to give money or by people convinced they are doing good for a law, by bringing an infidel women to islam. the number of coptic sudden increase, the most homes will increase. they follows the tradition of the filing.
seems the closer, and oriental cultures taking away a girl's virginity means taking away the whole family's honor. for the plan is the wiser kidnapped pain or compromising christian girls by defiling, humiliating them and the psychological effect on the girl is becoming a shame to a family and becomes a solution to the proud and. so besides the girl who loses her well, the family is covered by shame, condemned by the social environment. the muslims claiming that growth came by her own will and so christians are approaching not having taken enough care of their daughter.
a process leading to humiliation at the coptic community as a whole in front of the supremacy of islam. in a newspaper interview, mr. heineman wrestled at the complicity of the security police, it it is an investigator of islam often not a an opposition call the lights of islam. he rebuilt the curls are covered in mud buildings. he also specialized in tracking the coptic girls, using internet, money, employment and other means and is due at but
these are the decisions as security supports and security cover a period the least justice record -- winners of the decision. in sharia as assertion, nor in islam, the light of his own decision and many others. the information from other sources, accused in forests that, one, group being 99 occurs between 12 and 17 years old in one apartment, where they are trapped, where they are trapped, where they are trapped rain lashed and subten. two, get them out to the maturity age of 18. they are brought to a mosque to convert to islam.
they immediately attained the itm mentions as muslim and that of christian and the name has changed using a mouse and name, not that the opposite way is impossible. three, brain young boys or men and force them to marry one of them. for, keep the girl away from her family. maintain the christian doctrine. inculcate terror and fear that she's ashamed to her family who will kill her if she returned she has become a most fun and can go back to christianity or should be killed according to
sharia law. corey steps, methods. now, what the just ask? how click their hundred. i just mentioned what it then the egyptian human rights for an organization since 2009. 45 cases under 18 years since the general revolution. the 275 cases known between 2005 and 2010 underrate teen, 275 cases known underrate teen and 400 cases. now, it is just a work of small,
radical peep hole. this is part of a huge plan probably. it's separation to the genocide. within the islamic nation, to have an important number of christians around at least around 12 million. we will not talk about the number of converted most runs and they are just hidden. some people talk about 22 million. so they still maintain some of his everyday customs, through the coptic language. the cop took language which is the last version. the coptic rep resents an
obstacle to the radical islamists who are training to establish the great worldwide islamic nation. strategic plans are set to get rid of them slowly, that's firmly by different means. they are just one of horrible means. and iraq already, the 1 million christians, only three to 400,000 are left. will this have into egypt? after the church bombing in the 2011 years following the above being, president -- french president denounced the religious extermination plan to
these christians. he mentioned that grand will not deliver it such a plan. on march 5th, after the revolution, the member parliament, former minister was invited as a guest speaker and egypt's revolution. the son of armenian parents who ran away from the turkish genocide with the context of the euphoric turkish revolution in 1908, seeking freedom, democracy was euphoric as jason nietzsche today. there is a country away from religious power. only seven years later, in 1915, around 1.15 million were
exterminated if you wish to us that because that today's media, because today's fast communication, this would prevent such a scenario to egypt. what is international community? the u.s. or international human rights investigation commission is absolutely necessary to examine the events freely. i know that in the european parliament the idea is going through and may be the commission makes the same decision may be a court needed work beside. the pressure of the military council to take actions as was mentioned before was the precise
time plan and you should expect the ant there is just that these are individual life stories caloric coptic girl wants to find a muslim letter. and they both accomplish to stop financing these terrorist acts. as a conclusion, i have in my fridge and a question. the message: the muslim brotherhood's will never change our leave. check dave for restoring the islamic outfeed. the foundation is allowed is our target. the prophet is our modern. the koran is our goal. totally were is our way and i wish. these are the fundamentals and a
sixth of the muslim brotherhood. you'll not change them. they will not use the object did a restoring, only changing tactics. they're adapting the language to democracy and to the western ears. the early parliamentary election that were planned in september now because the the revolution pressure of the council have been a ported to november if they are held can either convert or november, then we bring the muslim brotherhood to power. why? because for the last 30 years, mubarak regime were just interested in staying in power and last the society on the
hands. so the egyptian society has invested by a closer that he and that's an example, one child peters holds that today's to his christian friend, yesterday was my birthday. i invited all of my friends except you because you are christian. these are dedication of the professors for the eight years old. no such things. and all my friends are muslims when i go to egypt i don't even have christian friends, but my faculty muslim friend a very good runs and would never live such a situation.
meet the democratic demands. i can say early election is just undemocratic and will be very similar to what happened in god for. they were 100% democratic. they were controlled by international commission and deprive hamas. so when the country is not ready, she brings what is next. so what is in egypt now is the muslim brotherhood reboot is required is a constitutional framework that must be prepared first. so we urge the commission. we urge the u.s. congress to take that into consideration. now, this is a request to president obama. the u.s. middle east policy should encourage the muslim
>> of course to the universal declaration of rights and not according to sharia as muslim brotherhoods are claiming. actions are needed. actions are needed now before it's too late. thank you. [applause] [applause] >> mr. maher, thank you very much. and thank you to miss dawson and clark as well. it's
moving to hear your testimony. those of us in c-span, i will say that chairman smith and the other commissioners have left to vote, because this hearing is so important. and we have c-span here live. we're going to continue the
proceedings, the chairman, by the way, my name is mark milosch, i'm the chief of staff with the health commission, and someone from mr. smith's staff on personal issues. we'll proceed. the first question that i have, have any muslim leaders in egypt condemned the kidnapping, forced marriage, forced conversion of coptic christian girls? has anyone spoken out against this? >> i have -- i have only
the one who mentioned the name that i gave -- just the name i gave, who mentioned this assertions and recognized that this has happened and it is about to be planned. i only have one courageous muslim man who is talking about it. most of what i have seen on the
tv and what i have read in the newspaper are just trying to transform this events into a lost story. and the girls just left by their own will. even coptics, i heard, they said, it's a false problem. because they have been also influenced by the media, and by the newspapers that they read. so what is really known is limited to the christian people. >> thank you. miss dawson, miss clark? >> i'm sorry. i have not been able to find my. >> i agree with mr. -- miss clark, i haven't heard of anyone condemning it and speaking out against these crimes. >> could any of you, or perhaps
all of you, walk me through the -- say a day in the life of a coptic christian in egypt. get kind of granular and tell me how it's different than what it should be. how the persecution, the repressive atmosphere in the society presents himself. what is different from what it should be when you go to register for a driver's license? when you say go to a restaurant? could you give me a picture of how daily life and the daily things we do through? please get granular here. what is different? and you might also invest, you know, what's different since the revolution if you believe it's going down hill since then? please, miss dawson? >> sure. i've actually been speaking with a lot of people who have been fleeing egypt. i meet a lot of people
interested in emigrating to the united states which they describe something that is completely intollable. the microphones that are attached to the mosques, ther is -- the sermons are filled with hate. i've heard from several different clients throughout parts of egypt, the new common prayer. may their lord make their wives widows and children orphans and on and on, diseases and destruction. this is what people hear when they open up their balcony or open up their window from the local mosque. you can imagine what these people are thinking when they are hitting the streets. aside from the spitting, the cursing, especially for the woman. they are easily identitied as christian because they are not wearing the veil. many women, they just stopped leaving their home. the men in the house have now become responsible for things like food shopping because they
are afraid to leave their homes. so it's become much more difficult. this is definitely that overall fear for women to leave their homes. and as far as men go, they are dealing with the fear that may maybe attacked. obviously, there's a fear of going to churches. actually, i've also heard that approximately 50 churches have closed in the last few months. and coptic solidarity has actually visited ten of them and confirmed, yes, they are, in fact, closed. people are now afraid to go to their churches, afraid to walk out on the street, and if they are identical as a cop. so it has definitely impacted the daily lives of coptic christians in egypt. >> miss clark? >> i want like to share an anecdote. when i was visiting egypt in company with nadia ghlay, a coptic woman originally from
egypt, we visited the egypt museum. she pointed out to me very clearly -- >> can you push the button on your microphone? >> it was pressed. is this better? >> thank you. >> she pointed out -- when i was in egypt, i visited with nadia ghlay, my co-author, and we visited the egyptian museum. she pointed out that none of the guides, curators, and professional staff in the museum were of coptic origin. this was -- she was deeply disturbed by this. to her it indicated that the very custodians of a heritage that was hers that she could claim, cops trace their history back to the time for thousands of years of egypt, they were cut off from being the custodian of their own heritage.
it was an affront to her that cops were not allowed to represent some of the history of the country. >> that's very interesting that this notion of the cops having been there for so long. it being their history. how does that play out in the relations between egypts and cops? is it between muslim and cops? is this something that occurred in the rhetoric that's directed against cops in any way? does it complicate the rhetoric or the relationship? >> i would defer to, perhaps, mr. maher. >> well, i think -- when i was a child at school, we never been talk about the coptic history. i learned about my own history when i came to france.
because my french wife is a history teacher. she motivated me to discover my own history. but i think the results of many people here are at my age. the history of the coptics were just out of the books. now it starts to be discovered. because of the communication. and now the muslims start to understand that we had 3,000 years of civilization. 3,000 before christ, 3,000 to 5,000 before christ. and then 700 years of egypt christian by the 4th century was 100% christians. and then when the arab came on the 7th century, they found all of the christians and named them cops. that's why cops is under defined
as inhabitant of egypt, but is a christian. when they came, there were only christian. and then for 1400 years, there were persecution, they have asked the people to either convert or to pay the taxes or to be killed. so many of them have converted to islam. and some of them pay the taxes. and we added descendants of these people who not necessarily noble people, but people who could pay the taxes and maintain their religion. and the coptic language was maintained until the 19th century. it's pharaohic language. people are discovering the history today of a lot of different muslims. some of the muslims say i am
coptic. i am a coptic muslim. because i bring back my history to the period. the muslim brotherhoods are against that because since the 7th century, everything before is erased does not exist anymore and we are going to the arabic culture towards the arabian peninsula. there was no -- it was arabian peninsula. they don't call the 7th century invasion, they call it opening. and not -- it was really invasion, a real conquest. so a lot of muslim liberians today. and one the activist is calling the muslims to come back, not to change their religion, and come back and recognize their history. how many countries, he said, in the world have pyramids and
spinx? only egypt. go back to accept your own history. it is not arabic culture. i think it's little and little coming to the surface and it's more known. >> thank you. so there is some struggle over the past and the notion of legitimacy. now i'll turn to mr. han for a question. >> i'm wonders if you can describe what the reaction is within the coptic community in terms of are they working to perhaps change some of their perceptions of, you know, how we can bring our daughters back into their communities? some of the long-held stigma that might be attached to that. and also if you could talk about their -- how are they going about trying to find daughters? i hear from all of your
statements that there's very little cooperation with the police. but what other ways -- are there any other ways they have banded together to try to protect their community? just be interested in what sort of response there's been. because of the increase in this -- these incidence. >> go ahead. >> the more information that gets out about the story, the stronger the families and the communities are able to be. because it dispels the myth of secrecy, and it dispels the myth of shame, it dispels the myths of isolation. and there are in hearings such as this and in other reports such as my fellow panelist, there is value because it informs the coptic community that, no, these are not isolated instances. and that, in fact, their daughters are caught up in a
much larger phenomenon, an insidious, targeted, and mythical attack against their most deeply held values. however, because the phenomenon is just beginning to gain public recognition, a lot of efforts till needs to be done. there are pockets of initiatives that, in fact, really deserve to be strengthened. there are individual perish priests who as i indicated in my report and oral testimony today, are greatly concerned about it. because they see the daughters that disappear from their own communities. there are monasteries which create shelters in places they don't know, because some families still struggle with the notion of taking back their daughter. what -- is this not our honor? but is this not -- are these not our daughters? and so their benefits from the increased understanding and
awareness that's being raised. one action that coptic families are taking in my research is that they are increasingly struggling to send their daughters to private school. this is a hardship for many, because coptic religious schools are more expensive than public schools. but hopefully in so doing, the girls are protected there at least they are able to have peers -- friends among their own peers and also able to recognize that it's okay to be a coptic. whereas for many of them in public schools, they sometimes experience -- friends with their class mates just as when we are teenagers, we are all friends with everybody. peer pressure is a great thing when you are a young adolescent. and the need to belong, the need not to feel that you are part of not only a minority, but a despised minority is very difficult for a young person. so consequently, people -- parents view private school education as something that can
strengthen a young person's sense of individual identity. we are seeing efforts made certainly among coptic communities in the diaspora to spread the news among individuals and among the communities to raise greater awareness about this. but this is something that in my subsequent research, i look forward to working on a great deal. i teach courses on issues of woman in global politics at george washington university. i include these topics in my classes. it's one way of beginning to create a level of discourse that perhaps has not been raised. >> they can help girls current who came back. they can help by putting on the internet a lot of messages now.
take care of your girls. what's happening more and more now the girled are confronted by the mother or brother or someone because they always are in fear. i know even a cousin, she said i don't rest the parent anymore. it's becoming a symbol of christian. and it is a danger. but if you take the examples of almost all of the parents that wanted the police claiming the girl is kidnapped. they are very badly treated by the police. they are insulted. they even sometimes refuse to make the official claim. then i tell them, you come back tomorrow or if we hear something, we'll let you know. if you hear something, let us
know. i think that the determined people, the radical islamic people, they send the people around the schools and universities. and the coptic girls are easy found because she doesn't dress in weills. -- veils. so they are just all the time at risk. >> i have read about many acts, actually, of family members running to the police to file the report. and essential given the run around. after persisting, police have responded by beating or placing remaining orders on them. saying you are posing a threat to the girl now. or they would say things that would -- i can't even among how the family members would feel. don't worry, she's married now. she's taken care of. i can't imagine what a parent of
a 16 or 17-year-old is thinking or feeling when hearing a respond like that. you know where she is. you are not giving her back to me. and a couple of cases, actually, i heard a parent taking matters into their own hands. there was actually a case in the paper i think a couple of years ago about how the family went into the home of where they knew she was, brought her back to the uncles, and the muslim family came back and took her book. police instead of stopping them, allowed the girls to be taken back to the muslim family. i did speak with one individual who described to me how his daughter was kidnapped and knew there was no hope to go to the police. and actually bought her back. he exchanged a piece of property through an attorney and got her back. got her back like a piece of property. sometimes on occasion, people do
take things into their own hands. overall, there's no help, obviously, from the legal system. >> that is truly shocking when you say about the police. do you think we're dealing here with a police that does not punish this crime because they have a policy of we don't punish crimes committed by muslims and christians or it's even worse than that. we are okay with -- we are find with, in fact, we think it's in some ways a good thing when it happens. is this almost a quasi state policy on some local and administrative levels, or simply we don't like it, but we don't do anything about it because we don't measure muslim crimes against chris christians? >> i think it is a policy.
you see a pattern, dozens and dozens family members doing to police and turning them in. turning them away she's now married. she's now married. what about the cases where the restraining orders get slapped on the parents. that's the court system interfering also. they know where they are. they are allowing it to continue. it is government sanctions. if you look at the practice, that's what it is. >> mr. clark, mr. maher, do you clear? >> yeah, i agree on that. it's on the part of the previous government plan. we knew that the bombing was planned. and that the ministry of interior himself was involved in order to show that the government is doing what he can to stop and look and so forth on the terrorists. you know, the government of
mubarak was always playing on both sides. and showing that mr. mubarak, i am the protector, and leaving the fan -- fanatics attacks and doing nothing. it is almost true that the security forces, what they call the security police have a file and are complicity with the people and if the commission is set, the files must be found because they have all of the stories. and when the first day the things happen, they make everything to delay in order that the other must -- muslim people get organized and in 24
hours saying a testament that she wants to allow and is muslim now. so the family has nothing to do with that. these are the police work. so they are 100% involved. what is surprising, this is happening all over egypt. you know, if we think that some people, muslims say it's a good thing for the muslim people. but this is happening in different areas, different cities, different villages, and the scenario and the behavior of the police is the same. do nothing. leave it. and throw the parents away. >> miss clark? >> thank you. yes, mr. maher presented a impressive look at statistics. not a single document in prosecution. so we can definitelyly -- we can definitely assume that there's
not a lot of forthought or intent given to pursuing any of the allegations legally. it's a real problem from any kind of preventive measure. we need to look at it from that perspective as well. as the victims recognize their voices are not being heard and that they have no resource, and, in fact, if they try to seek recourse, they and their families will bear serious consequences. they will no longer come forward. those who could come forward will not. so the lack of prosecution, the lack of investigations followed by the lack prosecutions leads to a continued and ongoing cloak of silent which only exacerbated the problem. we've seen this in the anti-trafficking community too often where numbers -- where instants of legitimate cases of human trafficking are minimized in the public eye and government
eye because victims don't come forward. that doesn't mean it's not a problem. it means there's something going on to prevent women from coming forward and seeking justice. >> if, it seems we have a grave problem at the local level, for sure. i'd like to ask you, is there any level of the government where diplomatically, this issue can be raised and find a sympathetic ear. if local government is come police disand at times encouraging or at lead with conductors or people involved in forced marriages, forced conversions, is there a particular ministry in the government aside from the police ministry where we would get a more sympathetic ear with this problem or a different level, perhaps the highest level to not approve this but as a policy rather of so many countries do
of not punishing it's own policeman when they do the wrong thing? i'm looking for a climber of hope or a place or ministry. level or angle where it can be most constructively raised. >> in part of the conversations, i think you can look at what happens in the conversion process. what was of great interest was the suspicious of the counseling sessions. these counseling sessions were designed if it was not situation, the mandatory counseling session with a member of her clergy and muslim so she could hear. if you convert to islam, you may never again convert back to your religion. your children will be raised as mil -- muslim.
this is what will happen. now and because the conversions are produced under duress rapidly, following acts of violence, there's little awareness or understanding of what's at stake when a young woman converts and goes through the particular process. so that's one very specific institutional thank you can be reinstated in order to help protect young women who are being converted. >> thank you, doss. mr. maher. >> if i can expand on something miss clark mentioned? the counseling sessions took place in state security offices. that's also an indication, they were aware of what happens happening. and i've spoken to people that have also i believe he's entitled to a family member there. she's entitled to she aerofamily member and at least. i've spoken to family members
who have been in the meetings with the kidnapped girl and described a drugged girl who couldn't respond or thinking when she was sitting there in state security. one client once mentioned to me that as his sister sat there, it was maybe for like three minutes, the one thing she said to him was, i had to to do it for the children. she left behind two children, two coptic children. so obviously this is an indication that they are aware and participating in the process. >> the context has changed, before the revolution and after the revolution, before the revolution since the revere was playing a double game, you could always find somebody in the government and try to put a bit of pressure and so on. after the revolution, there is no more security forces, no more police for the whole country.
so the problem is becoming worse. it was planning, working in families, starting to seduce or attract. now they just put them in the car, in the taxi, and go away with them. and they are not only young girls. even married women. it is becoming disastrous. after the revolution. when they destroyed the church, and we just talked about it was seen on the tv. we can see the people with their access in all bringing down the walls of the church. you can see the bearded men on the top of the door of the church saying and shouting to people to come and destroy the church. all of these people have been seen. so these same people the government want to ask them. because they have wanted to solve the solution.
they decide the church will be reinstituted. they had to get authorization from these people. from the hassan. they had to go work and say they can start the work of reinstruction. so i think there is aide until the context of today, there is only one way it is an outside pressure. the international community must have one voice. this is not acceptable. this has to reach the military council. they have the power, they are in fear, because they need money. so the message should be clear. we are going to help you and give you money. :
>> i was interested in how your practice have to come across or hear have there been successful asylum cases? given the fact that we don't have prosecution, there is no evidence of prosecution of any cases within egypt. you don't really have a documented trail of evidence about this type of persecution, and also the vague language that we've seen in the tips reports, have you been able to make any cases where harris there been any asylum cases or how is the u.s. immigration service handling these requests or are there any requests? >> that's a free good question. actually, there are lots of people filing for asylum cases right now and personally with myself we are at a 99 per cent
grant rate, which is amazing and when i say granted i mean eight weeks from the date you file to the date you get granted city has been very supportive of coptic christians in their plight, and also obviously someone representing them would go through a great length of supply and supporting documents about what's happening in egypt. of course, what would be more helpful is if we had the state department making an official determination that there zapata's and would be against and that wouldn't be that in struggle in prison decrease. proving that your coptic christian should be not at this point basted is what we are seeing out there. so we have met actually with representatives and the state department and asked please, make a conclusion of this report. you've described pattern and practice but he hasn't spelled it out. you need to draw that conclusion. so we definitely encourage that. >> thanks very much. we are joined by congressman
frank wolf, the chairman of the appropriations committee that deals with the justice department and we are also joined by the chairman of the constitution subcommittee for the judiciary committee, congressman trent franks of arizona was also the chairman of the religious freedom caucus here in the house. and i would like to yield if we would like to mr. wolf if he has any comments having just been in egypt. >> well, i really don't have [inaudible] to read the testimony [inaudible] coptic christians have been treated very poorly in egypt, and i know whatever the congress does [inaudible] with regard to any of the support coptic christians by anyone else as long as [inaudible]
devine looked to looking reading your testimony. >> chairman wolf, thank you. chairman frank? >> i would just echo chairman wolf's perspective as well as you're own. always great to see you come chairman smith because of your lifelong commitment that so often times we are thankful in this country for our constitutional rights and when we consider protecting the lives and constitution should be the preeminent focal point of our government. and did we forget the foundation of all three that there is religious freedom. because without that of course there is no other type of freedom. and some of us are especially concerned about the plight of the coptic christians in egypt and other places. the reports of children or young women being forced into marriage with in the kind of forced
islamic you would like to call it that where they are forced into marrying people that they maybe have a totally different perspective in their freedoms being overcome in that regard. those are things that the in media focused on jury carefully because those reports are unsettling to say the least. a young woman, 16 or 17-years-old, is forced to marry someone outside of her faith for the very purposes of trying to rob her of her religious freedom among other things. and i just, again, am grateful to chairman smith in the final analysis, even in this country when we have a condemned killer, and they are going to be put to death for their crimes, we still recognize their religious freedoms, and it is the last bastion of freedom there is. and if we come in this country, known for our commitment to religious freedom and freedom of individual and human dignity in general -- if we don't defend and do what we can to protect
our brothers and sisters across the world, then i'm afraid we have hastened the day when that door of coercion will -- that when that hand of coercion will be knocking on our own door. so thank you, mr. chairman, very, very much, and i hope you will forgive me i have to go to another gathering. but i want to commend everyone that is in this battle and hope that we can be part of assisting you in the future. >> thank you so very much. and i would like to just ask perhaps michele clark, you might be the best to answer this, you know, the president has gone to cairo. he gave his famous cairo speech. the secretary of state has obviously raised issues relevant to egypt on numerous occasions. has the obama administration raised the issue of kidnapping of cultic girls and young wind;
has it any kind of consequence? and we are now, the united states, members of the human rights council, which was supposed to be the fall one to the egregiously flawed human rights condition which never did much of anything accept believe israel coming even insiders at the u.n. said the council or the commission had to go. regrettably, is almost like deja vu all over again. the same organization. but we don't have a seat on the human rights councils of the best of your knowledge, has the united states raised the kidnapping and trafficking of the young coptic girls and women at the human rights council and any other venue at the united nations and has it been raised on the government to government level with a high officials in egypt? >> mr. smith, thank you for the
question. my answer is no. as to the rest of my knowledge in preparation for the testimony today, i have been actively reviewing any current news that postdates the publication of my report in the recent research so that i would have the most current information available, and i've not been able to find anything to that effect. if it exists, i have not yet seen at. i would venture, however, that my not knowing about this means that it doesn't exist. you perhaps are familiar with the challenges that we face including egypt in of a 2010 to report. we initially presented the findings, some of our findings to the office to combat monitoring trafficking and the initial response for these were only allegations. thanks to you and the support of other members of congress and in a bipartisan way but the sort of
encourage to revisit the issue and in fact egypt was then included in the 2010 tips report. it was not the issue of the coptic christian women was not raised this year. but further based on the studies that i intend to continue, we hope as per your recommendation earlier in the hearing to continue to advance the issue. >> we will invite as i indicated earlier ambassador for the obama administration on human trafficking to the commission hearing. again, she has been here before. to ask you specifically what have they done in the chronological order this is something that isn't new. what has that all system and we will also ask michael pos search, who's the assistant secretary for democracy, labor and human rights, and we will ask the secretary herself, although i doubt she will make her way up to capitol hill. she rarely does, to answer those questions. and what has been the response
if any because to the best of my knowledge, this has been a nonissue, and that oversight has to end and it has to and here today. mr. chairman wolf? >> mr. wolf, thank you for that comment. as i noted earlier in three sentences in the tips report the word allegation or alleged was used i believe five times. so there's less than a committed interest -- >> what number do you believe we are talking about; how many individuals would we be talking about per year or maybe over the last ten years? it's one it's too many. can you give me what the number that you believe this may very well be? i'm at a somewhat disadvantaged just reading your testimony. i didn't have it before time. i saw with a one monastery 45 was set when i was there some of the coptic christians raised this issue. that's why i think this should be one of the things when the
bill comes up for the foreign operations bill, they're ought to be a conditionality. i mean for so many years to the egyptian government has ruled this congress both political parties, republican and democratic administrations. they have hired powerful people, former congressman before them, and these issues never, ever came up. now with the opportunity of the new elections and hopefully a clean slate if you will, they're has to be some sort of conditionality. but how many do you believe we are talking about? countrywide. >> again, great question. and as in the early days of the antitrafficking movement, we've run up against the challenge of numbers. but i am trying to help remedy that. and as my fellow panelist here and i will turn the floor over to him in a minute. in the early days of the tip report 100 cases was sufficient for a country to be included in the tips report.
since then, they have done away with the number. i would just like to say the methodology that i used in my report and egypt was a similar methodology i do is to document in trafficking cases the word allegation was never included back then. i find it odd that the same methodology warranted the u.s. allegation in this current report you had some interesting numbers. perhaps he would like to repeat them for mr. wolf's benefit. but i would say that you're looking at several thousand cases a year. >> yes, well i think that's an unsettling. i show that [inaudible] for the human rights organization. >> is this to the kennedy? >> i will make a copy. [laughter] [inaudible] so yes, this is -- i make copies of everything.
and they came and i just have to give numbers that we are sure us. so this organization they took 800 cases since 2009. so the at 800 papers. there were 45 cases under 18. since january. since march after the resolution and for five years between 2005 to 2010, they know 275 cases under 18, and 400 cases over 18. so these are the figures we are sure of. but we are also sure that there are thousands to the estimate because the families are reluctant to come through and
the fear of the government. >> yes. this is one of the reasons. theater is they don't have money many of them may be from poor people, so they cannot go to hire a lawyer and they are just powerless. >> one other question, has the pope spoken out on this? >> yes. >> he has? when? >> we saw him on the tv and every wednesday the lectures. and one time a mother was present, and she shouted about her daughter disappearing and there was a lot of sensitivity and said please, come and we will help you. he said we know of your cases. believe me, we do our best.
that was public. we know a lot of cases and we are doing our best. but our best is from, you know, the matter is what is going to the government to say please, do something and then nothing happens. >> well, mr. chairman, i think that patterson is coming by to see me next week i think. the current ambassador has just left. he has been appointed i think an investor to another country. but i will raise this and i think the committee ought to raise this with the new ambassador. she's a good person and i fink to force this issue whereby she hits the ground running this is one of the very first issue is that she raises. but again, i'm going to recall the testimony and i appreciate and chris, thanks for having the hearing. >> thank you. commissioner and chairman, too?
>> for the record, joe pence is the chairman of the health subcommittee, one of the most important committees in congress on the energy commerce committee but he's also the commissioner for. >> thank you. i appreciate the testimony i was able to hear. unfortunately we had a series of votes we had to run so i missed some of it, but i appreciate the questions focused on the kidnapping initio. caroline, how does this issue fit into the context of what is happening today regarding the new constitution and the joint cooperation of secular and religious civil society leaders. >> unfortunately as you may be aware article to the constitution very clearly states it is the primary source of legislation so that when you do have a conflict that's actually what winds up winning out. so when you do have a situation
when a muslim would like to convert to christianity that is the legislation they actually refer to, so it's having that secular constitution and removing things from the constitution such as that that basically invalidate freedom to choose and freedom of religion. that's obviously something that will help the society move forward. there is a special paper actually that was written on the basic provisions in the constitution. >> mr. chairman, without objection, i would like to submit for the record this paper she's referring to. it's entitled to freedom, dignity, a social basis in the constitution and it's signed by the human rights ngo's 27 signatories if you could internet that into the record. you may proceed. >> i think this would provide a much more detailed analysis of the improvements that need to be made to the constitution to make
it more secular. >> what type of activity is occurring from those who are not extremists in relation to the new constitution that will soon be written; can you comment on that? >> i really haven't seen any report to make this more of a secular state. i haven't, obviously there are moderates out there but they are not the strong voice, and the stronger voice is coded to the extremist. >> for any of you, what do you see in terms of trends relating to minorities possibly fleeing egypt? like what happened in iraq, would you recommend to the u.s. government and other international bodies regarding that? >> if you open the door today for immigration, he would get billions. >> you get what? >> 12 million. >> i agree. i have been seeing it seems like an exodus.
i don't have room in my office anymore. the filing cabinets are filing up to file for people who are just dying to get out and it isn't just the lower-cost for the middle class anymore. now you see the upper class wanting and needing to lead on the investor visas because obviously they have the financial backing to do something like that so to the average person who would like to get out, perhaps me be easing up on the visa to christians in the u.s. embassy there are a lot of christians who are horribly persecuted and need to get out but can't get out and are denied their visa in the u.s. embassy. >> earlier your written testimony refers to a security threat. earlier this year to the command the and the u.s.. would you elaborate on that? >> yes. one of the attachments to the package that was submitted. a terrorist threat that was
posted on the mujahideen electronic record which is a jihadi foreign group. there's an arabic attached translation with their telephone numbers and the list of churches outside of egypt including here in the united states and the bottom of the list is the how to make a bomb out of a pepsi can, water bottle, how to propel it and how to successfully bombed a church. deutsch to this threat to security on the churches in the united states was heightened, and this is before christmas of shinnery seven, 2011. personally, i recall attending these meetings with security officials briefed the churches in the new york and pennsylvania area on how they should increase their security. they had a helicopter flying about some of the churches had bombs to go through them.
it isn't something we should have to deal with here in the united states. this includes churches on the united states which means there is a spillover from the terrorism that is happening in egypt to here in the united states. so this is something hitting us home that we should be concerned about. these are i think what they call soft targets. things we don't expect a terrorist will target. it is filled with people and inside the united states where there is normally no security. so it's an issue the united states needs to address because if we allow this to crumpled of egypt, there is a high likelihood it would come over here. >> they add something, please? the same thing is happening in europe and france. it's where i am living. there was a list of all the choices in paris, there's eight of them and their addresses and then fell least of my friends in the coptic organizations, which
are a target as dangerous for islam. this happened at the same time after the alexandre bombing. and because of that minister of interior, the french minister, he insisted to come on christmas eve which is the sixth of january, and to the president of the church. and the second day on christmas all of the church whose had been surrounded by some to be so this is also, you know, what's happening in the states is happening in france and in europe. spinet he raises a good point if i may say. there was a list of 17 individuals who were deemed enemies of islam true of the world. the u.s. and canada. i myself have been to be on that list and got on the visit from an fbi agent telling me i'm on this list, and if anything strange should happen please feel free to give us a call.
i know that canada took the threat more seriously and investigated and was all over the newspaper that the united states is aware of that and that's also again evidence that this is spilling over because they are threatening people that are not even from egypt and they are angry at the fact they are speaking out on this issue. >> finally, mr. chairman. i didn't hear in the testimony in any of your comment is there evidence that these kidnappings or the receiving the girl for forced marriages being used as far as extortion from some of the christian coptic businessmen. are you aware of anything like that happening in egypt? in other words, if they say give us $30,000 we will give her back to you. is that kind of thing happening? >> not so much. these are reports of some
messages, and they told him to leave the village, leave egypt and maybe you'll get your car back -- kirkegaard back. not much very seriously because it was on the question of money we would do everything to let it go back. it is not a question of getting money. it is a question of islami, yonah part of the strategic plan, to get egypt as a muslim islamic country within the power coming back again in the world. >> i would agree, mr. pitts. the kidnapping forced conversions and forced marriages do not seem to, do not appear to be based on my evidence as well on any commercial mou but rather an ideological motives.
>> thank you mr. chairman. i hope the appropriate agencies of the government are notified of the testimony we've gotten today. >> thank you. we are joined by the distinguished gentlelady from florida, the chairwoman of the house committee on foreign affairs, and i would note yesterday after two days of the mark of the foreign relations reauthorization act, with her strong support, we approved a very strongly toward a resolution calling for religious freedom for coptic christians with a particular emphasis on disappeared into deducted and kidnapped coptic girls and young women and michele clark just said, madam chair, that thousands of coptic and girls go missing or are abducted every year, and that is absolutely under appreciated if it was noted with indifference by so many at the state department that it is mind-boggling. so i would yield -- thank you very much, chairman smith, and as the chairman pointed out
yesterday in our full committee on foreign affairs, we concluded last night robust markup the date and adoption of many measures that deal with a security for young girls around the world, and no issue is more pressing than this horrific pattern of kidnapping and torture and forced marriages of coptic christian girls in egypt in the year that it would spread elsewhere. thanks to the leadership of chairman smith, who chairs the africa global health and human rights subcommittee. the committee adopted a provision that he sponsored that seek to address this specific threat of the coptic christians
and other religious and ethnic minorities, and we will continue to work with chairman smith and other congressional leaders and in that group are the two gentlemen to my right, congressman wolf has been fighting on this issue for so many years as has congressman joe pits. so we will continue to work with these fearless leaders and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure that we have leverage of the u.s. assistance to egypt to compel changes on this horrific tragedy, and in light of the information about the linkage to activities in the u.s. that you have brought out about church bombings, etc., or nefarious acts against a poor innocent young lady. i would work with the chairman of the homeland security committee, congressman peter
king of new york to hold joint hearings in the foreign affairs committee to investigate this -- these horrific acts, and frank wolf and joe pits have been leading the charge in congress as you know that's the reason that you're here on this subject for many years, and yes, there can be random acts of violence in every country. no one is immune from that. but this is totally different. this is orchestrated, this is approved. because these horrific act cannot take place every day in egypt and less that the egyptian authorities look away, and this is the difference between a random act lets a say. the united states of police brutality, that does happen, and an organized pattern of police brutality against civilians. that does not happen and is
never condoned and what is going on in egypt for young christian coptic young ladies, 12-years-old, he 11-years-old rate repeatedly by men, and that brings dishonor to the family so they are shunned, and then the father who is able to wrestle the girls away from this d greeting environment and abusive relationship brings the case to the authorities and of the authorities not just to look away. they are part of the beating as well to bring further dishonor to her so that she is shunned by her family and by her community. so it is a sad chain-link of abuses and degradation integrity of the human being and in this case innocent young girls who want to practice their faith and
the crime is that they are coptic christians. they've done no wrong and they are forced into these marriages and forced into conversions and given no respect for their human rights. it is shocking and appalling and what is appalling is not just that it happens to one or two. that would be shameful enough, but it is a pattern and it is a repeated pattern, and i am glad that we have congressional leaders like the ones here who are bringing focus to this issue and as i am sure congressman smith has pointed out in his leadership he has the reauthorization bill that's coming up before the committee in the fall, and so we are dealing with the coptic christian girls issue as a trafficking issue we are dealing with it as an abuse of human rights issue, and we will make sure we can continue to shine
congressional light and human light on this horrific problem, and we have a lot of funds that go to many countries and these are tough economic times here at home. so if we are to help other countries so that they can become prosperous societies, there for good neighbors and people who follow human rights and universally accepted human rights, then let's be careful about the way we allocate funds and let's look at issues of whether these countries are cooperating in terms of respecting religious minorities and respecting the rights of girls to blossom into young women freely and without this forced conversion and forced marriages and forced conversion. i know that our committee will be hard at work on this issue because we have christians and
our committee and a thank congress and pits and wolf who have been a working tirelessly on this. so, your words and testimony will be heeded by the members of the committee and i thank the gentleman for the opportunity to stop by. i did not see you there and one of our freshmen members who was a standout member last night in an hour marathon marked up who stood up on behalf of all of the human rights victims throughout the world coming and we shouldn't make the young girls in egypt an exception to that protection that we must give them so thank you. i would have pointed to out. thank you mr. smith for this time. i went thank the distinguished chairman of the full committee it was a marathon session and i think her for being here and so
strongly backing the amendment dealing with coptic christians and especially coptic women who are being coerced and put into forced marriages. thank you so much for your leadership. i would now like to yield two rene from north carolina, who chairs the committee on the small business committee and also on foreign affairs as a distinguished gentlelady and of the agricultural committee has has really become a rising star over the republican party. >> i don't know about that. thank you, mr. chairman. it is an honor to be here, and i came for a few minutes just, you know, congressman smith, he is just a heroic figure for us here in congress. he has been fighting for human rights issues around the world for years, and we look up to him so much. he is a voice for us as is
ileana. she is wonderful. it's great to be in the presence and working with those individuals that value life at every level. and we will continue that fight as i move forward it is an honor for me as a freshman i am just one of many very strong pro-life fighters for freedom around the world, and especially women's rights. and so this is such a wonderful opportunity for me to be here and listen at least for a few minutes to when you have to say. thank you so much for coming and giving us this personal face to this issue that's happening because this is one of those areas that so many are just not aware of, and when we bring these things to light, everyone wins and we want very much to have the situation and eradicate this terrible, terrible crime that continues. so thank you for being with us today.
>> thank you very much. let me ask a final question and then go to mr. wolf. first, if i could, of any of our panelists. egypt is a party to the prevention against all forms of discrimination against women. it's a party to the genocide convention and also obviously is held up for periodic review before the human rights council. the united states certainly is a party to the genocide convention, and my question would be has any of those bodies investigated, has there been an attempt to get a special repertoire for example designated to go and look at coptic church discrimination, and especially this horrific abuse which on shocked that any muslim cleric could in any way be in different to kidnapping is an egregious crime. the trafficking is among the worst crimes on the face of the
earth. this hasn't put a good face on islam. it says there is either in the friends to or acquiescence and perhaps even enabling and party to these kind of abuses. so my question would be at the united nations the genocide convention has the a you done anything or any other regional body and finally come to you know of any muslim clerics, he longs for the sample, who've spoken out against the abduction and of course islamisation. the pertinent part of the commission is that it is the deliberate and systematic destruction in whole or in part of an ethnic and racial religious or national group and it seems to me the forced islamisation and that is not just the woman with the children
she bares, with said within the definition of genocide against the cops in egypt. and finally, michele clark, with regard to what you're talking about earlier in your opening comments about the course, fraud and conversion and the trafficking fits -- this it's the trafficking definition as to what is going on. you said and i think with emphasis is no longer an allegation. is a fact. what do we do with the fact and i'm wondering if he could speak to what happens to the underage girls because you know the definition and you are very much a part of all of this for our own trafficking victims' protection act any woman who is not attained the age of 18 sets of the definition of trafficking there need be no element of force, fraud or coercion. it obviously only! exclamation. egypt in 2010 moved from the watch list of the tier two
amazingly. with all of this going on. i find that shocking. we are on the recommendation on the tipping for implementation of the 2010 trafficking law which is one of the reasons why they were moved down. it was based on the real tangible actions on the job under ground. does this trafficking dewaal in egypt include any body or mechanisms such as the commission of a special office to receive reports of trafficking or child marriage or this whole forest issue of a decaying teeth to obstructing the younger girls, so a number of questions, please. >> i will begin because i can answer it looked to some of the specific ones. i've indicated, mr. chairman, the issue of abductions in to forced marriages occurs regardless of age. it is documents as young as 11
or 12 or 16 and 17. obviously child-bearing age is one of the primary considerations in this situation since as you said the objective is part of one of the objectives is the patrician so the women who can bear the children are particularly targeted. to my knowledge, no, this is not being specifically addressed in egypt by the various antitrafficking bodies that excess. there is no particular focus on this. in large part because the issue of this is a trafficking -- as a trafficking instance remains disputed. i indicated that we need to remove the word allegation. it doesn't help any of us and evidence is now consistent with anecdotal reports that i believe we can and should remove the word. the challenge as we have faced throughout the history of the
antitrafficking movement is to what extent are the young women in collision with this situation? been the and the answer is blatantly not at all. they do not want to go along with these instances. they have no idea what they are consenting to. the commercial exchange does not have to be present to make a case of trafficking. of these women are being exploited for ideological gain, but the -- know where does the protocol to which the u.s. is a signature signatory for the people stipulate that it is the non-financial game is not part of trafficking. so this fits the definition. it needs to be pursued as such. >> i have no documentation that it's being preserved, and i will leave the genocide issue to my more capable colleague.
>> each of the meetings in geneva and different occasions this is the position of the government was always the same we are doing our best. the coptic problem does not exist. the government never recognized that there is something called kutz and egypt, suffering was an injustice or what they call the disputes. you can find the trade everyone knows who they are but they are in the reconciliation people coming together and the victim just doesn't use any just to go
away. the government never put in place something to solve the problem because he never recognized that there is a problem, so if there is no problem with the different commissions or genocide from the united nations commissions and so would act now many muslims are coming up and asking the military council, the government come to recognize that there is a problem, and unless this would be solved, the country would continue to go down and down. >> i'm actually not aware as anybody taking any particular action but i can say personally i did meet with someone in january, 2010, after the attack in the genocide department at the united nations, and i actually did present them with a package that presented evidence of genocide, but we haven't heard anything back from them.
>> [inaudible] a lot of the blame is in this congress, and this administration and preexisting administrations to begin again, good to those who lobby in egypt over the years and both administrations, mubarak and everyone got out to say what a great friend mubarak was. we've given him over $50 million. there will be an amendment to strike this when it comes up. there will be an amendment with regard to the foreign operations funding. so when you are looking at for lobbying for these people, the fundamentally say a lot of the blame rests right here in the united states congress. go back and look at the debate. i can be whereby we have people
come back to say they just got back from a hotel and mubarak was such a wonderful man he did all these wonderful things and we ought not condition it. so really, i think they're ought to be some complaints and directions on both the previous administration and the republican democrat. when i was in egypt three weeks ago, i couldn't help but notice i was in the embassy as i walk down bohol all the pictures of all of the former president's with a very large and big smile with mubarak. they put out a new book, the embassy put out a new book. president obama is on the cover and it shows all of the previous people, republican and democrat, who have been with this administration so a lot of the fault lies. we will see with this find is in this country when these issues are offered because i think there's a lot of blame right here in of river city and by republicans and democrats. the coptic christians and frankly i don't want to see the
coptic christians leave egypt. they will not be the middle east and for too long people up here and in the previous administration has been reluctant to advocate for those who are being persecuted because they are christians, whether it be in afghanistan, whether it be in pakistan or in the egypt and all over, the two questions that i have. how many convictions have there been over the last several years? and how many occasions do you know where the american embassy has advocated for these cases? because generally been there is a problem for the members go to the and become the advocate for how many convictions do you know have been cases brought in the egyptian courts and how many times has the american embassy participated and been involved in any different case? >> thank you very much, mr. wolfe. there has been in the 50 cases
of i was involved with personally, there were two investigations. meter investigation resulted in any legal process. so there are no convictions resulting as the complaints to the effect of kidnapping forced marriages and forced conversions of coptic christian women. to my knowledge also and according to my research, the u.s. embassy has not advocated on behalf of these women. >> one nice thing, mr. chairman, as you have the record i urge you to send it to leon panetta. our military is a very good relationship intact as i think our military has a better relationship and more clout with the egyptian government and the egyptian military than does our state department, and i think leon panetta, one of the recommendations i made is that he sends some top generals over the have relationship and to put some of these things on the table. thank you for your testimony.
i will read it all. >> terminals, thank you very much. commissioner, do you have any -- >> there you go. thanks. just one question on the problem we have encountered in the past the former egyptian government, and that is the problem of the government issued id cards including your referenced to the religious affiliation. victims have discovered their national id card designates them as muslim even though they have converted, and subsequent children they may have likewise automatically designated on their cards, and a conversion from islam is considered to be an active apostasy. can you expand a little bit on the implication of this problem for the victims'? any of you?
>> i can give an example. this is one [inaudible] is another one. these are two people who dared to say publicly that they converted from muslim to christian. he asked to officially change their religion from muslim to christian. it went through the different levels of the courts and was refused. there is another one with a 16-year-old girl today also going to the court and asking to change the identity card was refused but in between it was from the moscow publicly on the
microphones, so wherever you find him you know you are doing a good. so for three years we have to go from one place to another. i know the testimony in details, and he went from one place to another. his daughter of 16 year old now she hasn't been to school. after it is exceeded to go out before the confiscated the passport has been beaten and was not allowed to go and then he left to syria because he didn't have the visa to go and now he is in germany. and he would like to come to the states because his wife is in the united states and he's waiting for the process to be done in order to come to see her
and the wife. to see what is the mentality and what is happening to the kidnapped girls is an image of the egyptian society. as mr. gouarec left it. as he managed to give a false image about his country. as you manage the united states put $50 billion for what? the result is to bring the muslim brotherhood, so our pledge as a cultic today is please, do some thinking to believe the elections in order that the muslims get other parties and have the time to have that place and not only leave the place to the muslim brotherhood, but the early election in september or
november would bring the muslim brotherhood and we don't need that. it doesn't mean we don't want a space election, we don't want it now. we want as the united states history to work the constitution and see what it will become. what the country would they say we want it with the sharia law and become like afghanistan, pakistan and so on. the financially it would stop immediately. if they want to go to the modern country, there is no place for religion in the constitution. that is the question. it is not to hold a space election as everywhere in europe again we want them to be late again and again. we don't want elections now. we want the liberals come a good
muslim liberals, we want them to work with the cuts and other muslims and to bring a good constitution for the better egypt, modern egypt for tomorrow. >> michele? >> thank you. just briefly to answer your question on know what are the implications, a young woman returns to her family after having been kidnapped and forcibly converted and married. the consequence in her life are as follows. she cannot marry within her own church because she is listed as a muslim so she can't resume her life. her life is to live to be lived in limbo. furthermore, if, and as i have talked to such women, she does mary, may her marriage is illegal because she is a muslim woman is allowed to marry a christian man. consequential to the children that would be born to that couple would be illegitimate
children and would not be given a national identity. finally, as a muslim on her identity card she would not be given -- she would not be about to be buried in a christian cemetery. succumb in fact, she is forcibly for the rest of her life denied any public relationship with the thing that is most precious to her wishes her face. >> because of the lack of religious freedom, and some calling for egypt to be designated as a country of particular concern under our international religious freedom act. do you have any thoughts on that designation? what is your view of this question? >> i've carved out a little bit of a niche for myself, so anything i say is based on this. but certainly, if you do not the right of a woman to have a voice
in the most fundamental aspect of her life, marriage, the birth of her children, and a place to be buried, and i really challenge the country's position on religious freedom. >> so you would favor than being designated a country of particular concern? >> based on what i know now, it would appear -- >> any other views or comments? do you agree on that? >> i absolutely do. it deserves to be labeled as a particular concern. i think actually it is long overdue based on what we've seen in the trends in our own reports your it should have been able particular concern a long time ago but the relationship and a strong lobby we haven't seen until recently. >> thank you. >> jacinta nettie is not admissible. people who burn churches, who
kill christians come of this [inaudible] >> thank you, mr. chairman for this hearing in your leadership on the issue. >> thank you so much for your leadership. as i said, it comes to coptic christians, frank wolf, joe pits, they work every single day, and so i want to thank -- let me say one final comment on what chairman wolf said earlier. i have not come myself, with mubarak in cairo, and every year he would come at least once a hearing to the united states command whenever we -- i wasn't the only one, raised with great documentation, they began against coptic christians he would lean back and say [inaudible] , who was i guess at least a nominal coptic christian, and no, we are talking to you, mr. president but we would still be directed to him to take all
the information and say everything is just fine. so, we know clearly that wasn't true, but it seems to be getting significantly better. just a couple of final questions, and in any final comments the distinguished witnesses would like to make, please do to get how should we be pressing saudi arabia or others on what he cited in your testimony as the financial and philosophical support for this terrific and barbaric practice of kidnapping and forcing women into marriage? >> i think it doesn't come from the government of saudi arabia. the problems that come from individuals, and i think it's very hard -- maybe the message should be to the government of saudi arabia that they have to press their citizen to stop it. but it doesn't come from this saudi government. >> would you like to make a final comment before you
conclude? india for distinguished what mrs.? >> going back to the issue of the pattern of practice and in the kennedy, the perpetrators of crimes, a lot of them are very well aware of who they are. the perpetrators of crimes and attacks against the churches, the individuals that participate in the tortured and state security, but we do in these people come and apply for visas to the united states? was there some sort of a mechanism we could use to prevent them from entering the united states? is there some sort of a tool? we know who they are. we have their names. i remember back in 2007, if i may just make a comment about this. it was january, 2007. the -- this extremist islamic cleric was granted a visa by the united states to enter the united states. this may and openly on his web site supports jihad, and our government gave him a visa to the united states.
i've done an interview on msnbc and read the quote right off of his website. they gave him a visa to here, and at one point in time i heard, i don't know if it is true, that he was exiled from egypt, so this radical person has been given access to the united states. how do we protect ourselves from people like this? there are known offenders and violators of human rights. we should have some sort of reporting mechanism to put these people on the watch list. >> thank you. >> thank you so much, mr. smith, for holding this hearing. so many of us are so grateful to you, and again, for your sustained leadership on behalf of women and children. i would like to conclude by drawing a few lessons from the fight against him in trafficking, where after 11 years now in the u.s. and around the world we have begun to seek tiny but nonetheless sustained measures. one of the challenges that we must face, and it sounds as if
you are really hitting the the direction. >> we have to say this is what is happening. this is the crime is occurring. this is how we know it. this is what you are doing. this is who it is being done to. in the absence of naming the crime, everything else can be just dissolved into rhetoric and lofty statements that eventually become forgotten. the second thing we need to do that we have learned as a result of seeing how the report has an effect is to follow through with teeth. removing the word allegation is one important message. challenging the status on the levels is another important way that the u.s. government can go after this. we have to show that our naming also carries the strength and determination to follow through. the third thing we can do is continue as you've begun in this hearing to disseminate not
knowledge and information about what is taking place. the more the veil of mystery, shame and stigma of a crime is removed, the greater a potentially victimized people can feel in powered, and the greater antitrafficking advocacy community can come together on behalf of perspectives victims. and then finally, we can empower the coptic community itself to take ownership, knowing that actions on their part will be protected and not subject to government reprisal. we can encourage the distribution of information. in fact that should be perhaps an object of funding. we can encourage the protection of shelters and safe houses, and we can ensure the viability of the families which seek to take back their young women and help them to establish their lives according to freedom of
conscience, religion and the hopes and dreams of every other young girl. thank you, mr. smith. .. >> about military to military. we will follow up on that. i know he will as well. with incoming department of defense secretary panetta. and i also would point out recently a group from egypt was here in town looking for debt
relief. i came to that meeting and talked about coptic christians. and went through with documentation, abuses, committed against, including the horrific practice of kidnapping coptic girls. i was there with denials, denials, and more denials. in the room, it was to by moffitt, one the leading lobbyist, former members of congress. i would suggest that part of our outrage needs to be to the handlers of the account here in town who carry huge amount of influence, get paid very handsomely for that. they should not be indifferent to, or enablers of the crime against women and crime against humidity being treated against coptic christians. this is a hearing in a series of hearings. i can assure you, we will have a legislative strategy and we will
only only -- this is your information. i remember when i took some journalism classes, the three as of journalism is accuracy, accraca, accuracy. i believe deeply when it comes to human rights, you three have been giving us accurate pictures of what's going on in the ground. the commission cannot thank you enough for your insight, council, wisdom, and thank you for being here. thank you very much. this hearing is adjourned. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
didn't know the ending? >> eric larson following the rise of adolf hitler and the third reich. >> i started looking for people to tell the story, outsiders, americans, that's when i stumbled on william e. dawud. >> sunday night on c-span's q and a. >> leon panetta was sworn in as secretary of defense, taking over from robert gates. he prevently served at cia director and white house chief of staff. we'll have remarks from leon and vice president biden. this is 40 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> please stand for the arrival of the official party. ladies and gentlemen, the vice
joseph biden. >> well, mr. secretary, distinguished guests, former secretaries of defense -- mr. speaker, it's great to see you. speaker foully, all of the distinguished guests, cabinet members, members of congress, you maybe wondering why we are doing this, mr. chairman, in the light of the fact he's already been sworn in. there's a reason for this. since the time he's been sworn in, he's been back out to his home district. we're worried he changed his mind. we're doing this twice just to make sure we get it right. sylvia, as you know, leon and i have been friends for over 30 years. you are standing here today -- you are sitting here today, but you are the second swearing in, the ceremonial swearing in is proof positive that no good deed
got unpunished. you are a tremendous congresswoman, instead of living with marty russo, congressman russo, you were chairman of the house committee on the budget at a critical time. you balanced the budget, you moved us in that direction, you served president clinton admirably as the director of office and management budget and you served as his chief of staff later. we were able to convince you and sylvia to come back and join the administration to run the cia. every one of these endeavors i can say without fear of contradiction, in every one of those endeavors, you left the institution that you work with in better shape. in every single one. you -- your last encounter, as the director of the cia, when
you arrived there for a lot of reasons, many of them unfair, the morale was down. you've not only restored the morale, but you've reminded the american people of the incredible, incredible job these folks do, culminating in your working on probably the most daring rescue and effort and then kinetic effort ever to get osama bin laden. everything that you have done, leon, you have done well. you've made the process better, and you've made the people you have worked with look as good as they are. the reward, if you call it that, for your extraordinary service, is yet another challenge. maybe the most challenging post. leon, it's an honor to call you friend, and to welcome you to this new role as america's 23rd secretary of defense. now i know you agree that this
maybe is the greatest honor you've ever had bestowed upon you. the privilege to lead the women and men that everyone in the auditorium knows without fear of being accused of hyperbole are the finest fighting force, the greatest warriors the world has literally ever, ever seen. you are also arriving at the pentagon at a time of great challenge to our military. not only in afghanistan and iraq and around the world, but the budgetary challenges that face this country. and a little over a month will mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 attacks. we are honor the victims of that horrific day, including 184 people who were tragically taken out on the attack here on this very building. we will renew our commitment to america's durability to remain vigilant to the old and new threats that we face. we're going to redouble with your leadership our efforts to
disrupt, dismantling, and defeat the terrorists who continue to plot against the united states. adding to the great work you've done over at the agency. we'll express the american people's appreciation for our armed services and i might add, all of you know this who wear a uniform, and your families. these families of this 9/11 generation and it's hard to think about it, at least for me, that from 9/11 we are, you know, we are ten years away from that day. a lot of these kids were 12 and 15 and younger at the time that this attack took place. they stepped up. this young generation stepped up -- in fact, not just them, but others more than 2,800,000 service members have been on board since the 9/11 attacks knowing full well they face the prospect, almost certain they would be deployed. in the case of many in this
room, deployed multiple, multiple times into some of the most horrific terrain that some of the american soldiers, sailors, and marines have fought in. never before, in my view, has america asked so much of an all volunteer force. that's why i believe that the 9/11 generation has earned it's place. all of the talk about the younger generation not stepping up, as the president kids me all the time. give me a break. give me a break. they have stepped up. although only 1% of our population is fighting these wars, that 1% is made up of some of the most extraordinary women and men this country has ever known in any generation. they are among the best of our history, and by any measure, the accomplishments, the accomplishments of the 9/11 generation have been extraordinary. toppling the taliban, pushing al qaeda from afghanistan, safe havens, training afghan forces,
putting al qaeda under unprecedented pressure and killing osama bin laden. meanwhile in iraq, the troops have battled, trained the forces, given the iraqi people have been opportunity for a better future. it's now in their hands. while it's not always -- it's not always makingings the headlines, every day. every single day our forces are serving with distinction in far formed corners. from west europe, south america, north africa, faced with reless -- relentless adversaries, they have proven to be not only innovators but people like admiral mullen. as they have grown, i have grown to respect him more and more. pioneered tactics, masters languages, deployed new technologies. they have taken on
responsibilities once reserved only for colonels and generals. the responsibilities have extended far beyond the battlefield, politics, economics, development task. we were talking about -- i was talking with my good buddy about it i think just two days ago. it's astounding. it's astounding what you guys have trained these young women and -- young men and women to do. they not only have to be warriors, they have to be politics. when i was in afghanistan not too long ago i was up at the fab in the wall valley up in the mountains on the other side of the valley. and i'm talking to a young captain. and he's telling me the distinction between the tribes that are up there, they all were pashtun. he knew more about the culture than the professors could teach you about it. in the process of all of that, he was a warrior, every single night he was on the hill getting
fired at. we expect him to do everything and we put so much pressure on all of you, so much pressure on all of you. because all of the rest of our agencies do not have the capacity when these warring broke out to get the things done you could do. you've inherited an awful lot of obligations that, in fact, really should be in other departments. but you do it because you are the best. you are incredible outfit. you are an incredible outfit. my respect has grown in way that is are hard for me to describe. traveling in and out of these areas, 15-20-25 times. it's just astounding. but the breath with the american people don't know, the breath of the responsibilities, the breath of the responsibilities that you give a kid who's 24 years old, or 25 years old. so we have to always remember that this progress will come at
a price. we honor all of those fallen angels that have made the ultimate sacrifice over the past decade, more than 1666 in afghanistan, 4477 as of this morning in iraq, and a little over 40,000 wounded warrior, many of whom are going to need medical care for the rest of their life. thank god they are going to have long lives. i'm literally in awe these troops. i know you are too, leon. i'm also in all of those blue star mothers and fathers and particularly those gold star mothers and fathers. they have done for their country something we can never, ever repay. our nation as i know you believe has only one sacred obligations. we have a lot of obligation to the young, our poor, we have an obligation. only one sacred obligation. that is prepare and equip those for who we send into battle and care for them when they come
home to keep that commitment. let me conclude by saying that just like secretary gates, i know how you feel about these -- not -- i'm getting so old, i guess they are all kids. i was in iraq not long ago. i was in one of the god awesome palaces. there was a row of press conferences, guys gathered around me. i stood in the chair and said you young people, and a guy from the back yells yo, mr. vice president, third time i heard you, 63 years old. you know, they are not all young, but they are all -- they are all courageous. leon, i think the pentagon is getting something special with you beyond all of your management capabilities and all of your knowledge. and that is your heart. and just like bob gates was evident especially when he was leaving, how much he cared and understood about the sacrifices the people were making, you
bring that with you. and i think you are about to lead -- you are leading the most awesome institution, most awesome institution in the world. president obama and i, indeed the american people, are fortunate to have a leader in this place with a skills, the experience, the management it as well as the heart to understand it. so i want to thank you sylvia, i sincerely mean it. i gave up willington, she gave up caramel. there's a different. willington is more beautiful. it's not like indiana. if you are indiana like senator -- senator bayh it would be okay. i want to thank you both for doing this, and i want to thank all of you for assembling in this hall. this is the most incredible
institution in the world. i thank you. may god protect america and all of our troops. now we're going to swear him in again. [applause] [applause] >> mr. and mrs. panetta will join vice president biden for the oath of office. >> all right, leon, do you solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. against all enemies foreign and domestic. [repeat] >> that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. [repeat] >> that i take this obligation freely. without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. and that i had well and faithfully discharge the duties
of the office on which i'm about to enter. so help me god. [repeat] >> thank you. [applause] [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the 23rd secretary of defense, leon e. panetta. >> thank you very much, mr. vice president. and my thanks to all of you. dear friends and colleagues and people that i've had an opportunity to work with throughout my career. thank you for being here to join
all of us in this new challenge that i take on. i want to first begin by thanking the president for placing his trust and confidence in me. i am truly humbled by the responsibility and the opportunity that has been given to me at this great moment in time, to heed this great department, and to take on the mission of protecting america and our interests around the world. mr. vice president, thank you for your kind words and thank you for your friendship, and thank you for administering the oath of office.
we go back a long way through a number of challenges, dealing with all kinds of issues that both of us have had to work on, and we've developed a close relationship in that time. and i'm glad i've been able to give you a small break from budget negotiations. i'm sure you want to get the hell out of there -- [laughter] -- >> for just a few moments to be able to break away. i also want to thank you for your efforts. you are doing a great job. i know how challenging it. but i really appreciate the great efforts that you are making. it is something we all know that joe's heritage is irish and mine is italian. and our parents.
as young people growing up in the families always taught us to speak plainly and directly. sometimes that's gotten us in trouble. as a result, -- [laughter] >> as a result, there were some talk here of trying to put a seven-second delay on the microphones for the this ceremony. [laughter] >> but i can't imagine why the hell that would be necessary. i'd like to express my deep gratitude to the members of congress that are here today -- many of them are dear old friends from my days on the hill. and i truly appreciate the fair and prompt hearing that i
received in the senate, and i deeply appreciate the strong vote of confidence. as a creature of the hill, i pledge to all of you, to all of you, that i will continue to work closely with members of both of those great chambers on the hill, and that i will continue to work with both political parties. i can't do this job without you. it's that simple. i really believe that congress has to be a full partner in the departments mission of protecting america. and that we -- we must be stronger in confronting those challenges and the only way we can be stronger is if we work together. and so i appreciate your oversight, i appreciate your
guidance, and in particular, i appreciate your partnership. much of the civilian and military leadership of the department is gathered here as well. chairman mullen, mike mullen, who has become a dear friend, i thank you for your leadership, and i thank you for your continuing guidance as i take on this challenge. and i also want to express my deepest thanks to the outstanding service chiefs and service secretaries, for their guidance, for their council, and for their support. and in particular, i appreciate, in particular, i appreciate their insights into the needs of the men and women who serve out there on the front lines --
their needs and the needs of their families. finally, on a personal note, i want to thank my family. my family has been tolerant beyond all measure during 40 years of public service. and above all i want to thank sylvia, who is here today. my three sons, my six grandchildren, have been a great source of pride for sylvia and i, and i am so grateful for their continuing love and continuing support. that's the story of my family -- and the story of my family tells you a lot about what america means to me, and to all of us.
as you know, my parents were immigrants from italy, and they believed deeply in the american promise. they brought to this country a willingness to work hard because they knew that if they could make use of the great opportunity that was here, they could give their children a better life. and that is the american dream. it's what they wanted for their two sons, it's what we want for our three sons, and hopefully it's our three sons want for their children, and for their children. when i was growing up, my parents always made clear how important it was to give something back to this country. because of the opportunity that
they received. and it was their inspiration, plus the time i spent in military service, two years, plus the words of a young president who said "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you with do for your country." that's what brought me to public service. and for me, it meant in many ways fulfilling the dream that my parents were about and what all of you are about. making sure that our children have a better life. that's the principle, the fundamental principle that activates everything that this department is all about.
it's what our men and women in uniform are committed to. and they are willing to put their lives on the line to try to make sure we have a secure and better life for our children. we work every day to try to ensure that our fellow citizens and our future citizens and generations of americans are able to enjoy that better life. i believe there is no better guarantor of our security and ultimately our freedom, than the strength of america's armed forces and the dedication and skill of those who serve this country in uniform. this is a time of historic challenge, for this department,
and for our country. and change will only accelerate the challenges we face. this auditorium -- this auditorium that we are in -- stands only a few hundred yards from where terrorists attacked the pentagon on 9/11. that day when the nation suddenly understood that we had to confront a new and urn certain period of conflict. unlike the cold war, we now face a multitude of security challenges, dangers that are spread across the globe. these threats are daunting, to
be sure. but these past few years have also shown the world that america, our strong intelligence and military capabilities is up to that challenge. we will not back down. when our homeland is threatened. we will do whatever it takes to defend this country. and no one attacks the united states of america and gets away with it. we have been relentless in the efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda. and al qaeda's extremist affiliates. and ultimately, that effort
culminated in the operation to get bin laden. i believe that we are within reach of achieving the strategic defeat of al qaeda. but to do that, we have to continue to put pressure on them wherever they are. and if we do, and if we continue that commitment, then you want matily, we will succeed. we remain at war -- we are a nation at war today, but there is also hope there as well, that ultimately we can achieve that degree of statement that will ensure that these countries where we're fighting will never become safe havens for
terrorists, will never become safe havens for al qaeda or their militants, will never become safe haynes from which they can launch attacks on our homeland. in afghanistan, the american and international fighting force has dealt the taliban serious blow, and it has put us on a track where we can make that important transition, and give the responsibility of governing and securing their country to the afghans themselves. and thanks to the heroic sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, i believe that we are headed in the right direction. and that we will be able to
achieve the goal that we seek. but we must remain committed to that effort. iraq has emerged from four -- from four more decades of dictatorship and turmoil. but again, thank to the heavy sacrifices of the u.s. military, our coalition forces, and the iraqi people themselves, this country now has the opportunity to become a stable democracy in a very unstable region of the world. but again, it demands that we stay committed in other words for that to happen. beyond afghanistan and iraq, the u.s. faces as i said a multitude of other strategic and
institution no, ma'am -- institutional challenges. we must reset a stressed force. we must repair for emerging threats, cyberattackers, nuclear proliferation, rising powers, that will demand that we work towards greater transparency and better diplomacy. and we must do all that we can so that we recognize that in in effort, we do not have a blank check from the american people. that we will face the fiscal challenges that confront us, but we will do it in a way that maintains the strength of our country. based on my long experience in government and in working with
budgets, i, believe that we do not have to make a choice between fiscal discipline and national security. by setting priorities, based on sound strategy, based on good policy, we can focus a strong and innovative defense policy that confronts the future. and dealing with the threat that is we are face in the future. and that focuses resources that we need at those threats of today and tomorrow. we must continue to be accountable to the american people. for what we spend, where we spend it, and what the results
are. but i am confident from the years that i have spent working on budgets and confronting the issues that are part of having to deal with budgets that we can do this in a way that will strengthen us for the future. that will make us more effective, more efficient, and that will not break faith with the men and women who serve this country. and that brings me to my last point, and in many ways, my most important responsibility, as the secretary of defense. which is to protect those that are protecting america. in my three weeks as secretary of defense, i've had to sign
deployment orders, but i've also had to write con condolence let. which is one the toughest tasks that a secretary has to confront. i've travellered to the war zones. and i've met with service members on the front lines. i look into their eyes, and what i'm looking into is the heart and soul of this country. soldiers, sailors, airman, marines, willing to put their lives on the line to defend their country. i am truly awed by the dedication of that young generation that is willing to do
that. and like my good friend and predecessor, bob gates, i will be a teariest advocate for them and their families. i will never forget the consequences of my decisions. the strain, the sacrifice, and sometimes the heartbreak involved in sending those men and women into harm's way. we must, we must respect the dignity of every person who is willing to put their lives on the line for america. every day they are making extraordinary sacrifices for all of us. and so are their families back
home. we owe it to them to make sure that they have what they need to accomplish their mission, but to also support their families back home. mr. vice president, my dear friends, and my colleagues, i am again deeply thankful for this opportunity that i have been given to do my part in protecting this country. this country that i love, and this country that provides the men and women who serve it in battle. but most of all, i will tell you that i will always be committed to protecting that dream that my
parents were about when they came to this country -- which is to ensure that all of our children have that better life. thank you for your support. may god bless the men and women who are out there serving us, but most importantly, may god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the ceremony. please remain standing for the repartture of the official party.
panetta's first responsibility will be to implement the against of the "don't ask, don't tell" military policy. they announced that will officially end on december 20th. they will allow homosexuals to serve openly in the 35 minute press briefing. >> okay. good afternoon. the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal act of 2010 requires that before the law takes effect, the president, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff transmit
to congress written certification by each that statutory prerequisites for certification had been met. those prerequisites include policy to implement repeal and the policies in the implementation are consistent with standard of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruits and retention. yesterday afternoon, defense secretary leon panetta and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral michael mullen each signed and transmitted to the president written confirmation in their judgments the statutory prequick -- prerequisites had been met.
their consultation was based on the input from the service chiefs, service secretaryies, and combatant commanders who wrote the services were now ready for repeal. they were transmitted to the white house last night. this afternoon, secretary panetta and chairman mullen met with president obama. about an hour ago, the president, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff all signed the certification document, and that document has now been transmitted to congress. further requirement of the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal act of 2010 repeal implementation will come into effect 60 days from now. specifically that date will be tuesday september 20. with me here today are the under
secretary of defense for personnel readiness, dr. clifford stanley who led the repeal implementation team effort. major consider -- general steve hummer, virginia d. penrod secretary of defense for military personnel policy and chairwoman of the team, m.j. johnson, dod general counsel, and co-author. under secretary stanley has a statement to make and he has to department right after. at that point, we will then bring up general hummer and ms. penrod and open the floor to questions for them on the details of repeal implementation, of the process, and of the next steps. mr. johnson will also be available for questioning as
relevant. i would ask that you hold your questions until general hummer and ms. penrod come up here and i'll be recognizing questioner. undersecretary stanley, the podium is yours. >> thank you. good afternoon. i want to thank you for becoming here today. this afternoon, the president, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staffs certified and they are satisfied with the choices of the chiefs and combatant commanders that the services are ready to implement the implementation of "don't ask, don't tell." consistent with the standard of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention. per the law, the repeal will take effect on september 20th, 2011. since we began training the force in march, 1.979 million service members have been training regarding the policy changes associated with the
repeal. and throughout this process, we have regularly engaged the services and combatant commands. feedback was consistently positive. training was being well received and there were no issues of barriers arising. as we move forward to repeal and beyond, we will continue to collaborate with the services staying engaged with the field to ensure we can swiftly address any issues or questions that may arise. i want to thank the repeal and implementation team and all of those who have been deeply investing in this process since it's beginning. over the past seven months, the people in this department has developed training materials and established training teams and programs, providing the training to 1.979 million service members and updates all to get us to this point today. your contributions have been
invaluable to this effort. i also want to take a moment to thank our service members. the most valuable component of our national defense. these fine men and women continue to represent our nation's best by exemplifying the core values and oath they took to defend the great nation. it remaining a policy of the department of defense that sexual orientation is a personal and private matter. to treat all members with dignity and respect and ensure maintenance and discipline. there will be zero tolerance for harassment, violence, or discrimination of any kind. this policy change is all about leadership, professionalism, discipline, and respect. i know our service members will continue to proudly represent this department and it's high standards as they do each and every day. thank you. >> thank you. i'd now like to invite general
hummer and ms. penrod to come to the podium. general hummer has a few opening remarks to give you a sense of where we have been and what the process is at this point and the issues before us. general? >> thank you. good afternoon. what i'd like to do here in a couple of minutes is talk about what we were asked to do as a repeal implementation team, give you what we did, what happens for the next 60 days through repeal, what we've reviewed, and what we have yet to review. as everybody knows, the president signed the repeal act on 22 december. soon after that in january, the repeal implementation team was activated in the month of january. we were tasked to conduct implementation with maximum efficiency and minimum disruption to the force. to do this, the repeal
implementation team operationallized the comprehensive review working groups support plan for implementation. this essentially was a blueprint that we carried out over the last six months. the department of defense worked steadfastly over the last six months to prepare the necessary policies, and regulations to implement repeal. and to train 2.2 million service members, including separate training for our senior civilian leadership. also chaplain core members, judge advocate community on the implementation or implications, i'm sorry, of repeal. it is the general consensus of the military department that the approach to educating and repairing the force in revising policy and regulations to provide the ground work for a
smooth and orderly transition. training materials were developed on a support plan and package to facilitate a low bandwidth and slides, and frequently ask questions, service specific information, and separate training for senior leadership, again chaplain core members, judge advocates, et cetera. the training focuses on the changes in the policy effected by the reveal of "don't ask, don't tell." a clear focus on four tenants, leadership, professionalism, discipline, and respect. which will enable any change in policy to be executed with minimal disrupt of the force as leadership continues to emphasize and treat all members with dignity and respect. the services have been carefully executing a deliberate and author reroll out of the necessary training.
each service began training on or before one -- 1 march of this year. to date, a majority of the force, 1.797 service members have been trained. training will be continue throughout the next 60 days through repeal. the repeal act does not require the services to have completed training prior to repeal. while there's no department deadline for the completion, the services set their own internal goals to complete training at the preponderance of the force. all services have met their timeline goals in the army, guard, and reserve are on track to complete their training on 15 august. in addition to the training, the forces -- in addition to the training the force on implications on the repeal, the department of defense has undertaken a