tv Discussion on U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom CSPAN July 21, 2022 6:59pm-8:02pm EDT
where the incentives lie but if i'm going to be a conservative and be humble i have no idea what the changes will be an attitude of some but who cares about this how can we look at the changes now in technology and political realignment in whatever and chill that towards productive solutions. >> we will end with that, thank you for joining us keep an eye on her website working on more yoon this series. this is a really great discussion i appreciate you joining us. [applause] >> the january 6 committee holds eight public hearing tonight with former white house aides expected to answer questions about what president trump was doing as the attack on the u.s. capital was happening. watch live coverage at eight eastern on c-span you can watch
on a free video app c-span now or online at c-span network. a discussion on u.s. policy regarding countries that dilate religious freedoms the u.s. commission on international religious freedom recommend the state department designate countries like china, afghanistan, pakistan, saudi arabia and nigeria and put them on the department special watch list. this is one hour. . . . dwight: good afternoon and welcome everyone to the u.s. commissions briefing called the impact on international religious freedom. my name is dwight bashir and i'm the director of outreach and policy at the commission. and i know many of you are looking forward to >> i know many of you are looking forward to this week's summit which is officially getting underway this morning. we have with us the cochair of
the summits congressional advocacy. i want to invite him for just a minute to say a few words. [applause]oo >> good afternoon, everyone. this is an amazing event. on behalf of the international religious freedom summit on the steering committee, ambassador sam and doctor, we welcome all of you also to this week at the summit. one of the reasons that we plan to do this event was the amazing synergy between this amazing body you serve in the civil society. hearing congress on capitol hill diet is so important to do it here today, we have coalitions, typeface coalitions, over 70 faith organizations, dozens of community speaking for each other on the hill today. over 50il live meetings in 24 hours. in each of these meetings, we
are calling for the support for this valuable body. what is very important is there is great courses on capitol hill. great voices for religious freedom. all of you that are here represent communities that have great voices. but we need a symphony. we need to come together and conduct our work together, shoulder to shoulder and solidarity. i am delighted that dwight and all ofze the folks have organizd this event and i hope that you enjoy it. you have our support on behalf of the summit. [applause] >> thank you for those words. this is our first public event in person, public event since bthe beginning of the pandemic. we are very happy to be up here capitol hill. a we have new commissioners as well. just appointed in recent weeks. without further ado i want to turn it over to our newly elected chair of the commissiono
serving his second term. i will hand it right over to you. >> thank you very much. good afternoon. great to be with you this afternoon. i am honored to serve as the new chair. is this better now? as was mentioned, last week i got elected as the chair of the commission. last week also elected the vice chair to serve in a leadership team. unfortunately, he will not be able to join us today. i am joined by commissioner stephen who will follow me to make some remarks. commissioner was appointed by president biden. also with us newly appointed commissioners. commissioner wolf, a giant in religious freedom site who has recently been appointed by house
minority leader kevin mccarthy. we will also be sharing some opening remarks today. commissioner eric hulin to my right appointed by senator mitch mcconnell hill is a minority leader in the senate. we also have several you serve staff members with us in this meeting today. i want to thank those of you who are in town for the first summit this week. a special thank you to the representatives here and the staff are reserving this room for us. as the summit kicks off this week with religious freedom advocates coming into town from all over the world, we wanted to take some time to talk about how we make policy recommendations to the u.s. government and how we can be a source to you and your work. in 1998, the united states congress passed the freedom act commonly known to make a promotion of freedom of religion
and the higher priority in the u.s. foreign policy. we created in addition to the international freedom office at the state department. in the position to oversee that office. we also urged the appointment of an advisor on the issue of the national security council staffed at the white house. you serve as an independent bipartisan u.s. government advisory body that monitors religious freedom abroad, using international standards to assess conditions on the ground. making recommendations to the president, secretary of state and congress. they have nine commissioners appointed by the president and congressional leadership of both lyrical parties and professional staff about 20. commissioning private citizens volunteering this position. aba different political party, different states, professional backgrounds and different parts of the country.
if we all agree on the importance of freedom of religion or belief or everyone everywhere. the need to shine a light on the severe abuses so many individuals of all faith and of non-come before exercising their right to religious freedom. abusing weather caused by the government action or inaction cannot be unchallenged. research has found that countries uphold religious freedom have more vibrant demographicns political institutions. rising economic social well-being, diminished tension and violence and greater stability. nations that failed to protect basic human rights including religious freedom provide further ground for property and insecurity, war on terror and violence, radical movement. let me now turn the floor over to the commissioner to speak about commissions reporting and some of the key recommendations.
>> thank you. >> thank you, chair. the reporting focus on two groups of countries. those we recommend the safe party designate as countries of particular concern or cbcs. those that we recommend the state department place on that special watch list or s wl. cpc's are countries whose governments engage in or tolerate systematic ongoing and agreed just violations of religious freedom. the s wl is for countries where the violations meet to, but not all three of the systematic ongoing and agreed just tests for cpc's status. in our 2022 annual report which covered up reporting period from january to december 2021, we
recommended 15 countries for cpc status. ten of which, the state department designated in 2021-yard burma, china, iran, with korea, pakistan, russia, saudi arabia and turkmenistan. 1 we urge the state department to re- designate a these 10 countries at cpc's in its 2022 designations. which are expected later this year.. we also hope the state department will name cpc five additional countries. afghanistan, india, nigeria, syria and vietnam. aiin addition, we recommend that the state department maintain on it special watch list three country, algeria, cuba and nicaragua. add nine countries to that list. central african republic, egypt,
indonesia, iraq, because exxon, malaysia, turkey and is pakistan in addition, we also make a variety of other policy recommendations to the administration and congress. for example, we have been calling on the state department for years to refrain from issuing waivers for cpc countries which essentially releases the u.s. government from takingma legislatively and dated punitive actions as a result of the designation such as sanctions. currently, the u.s. government athas waivers in place for four cpc designated countries so we continue to urge the administration to review u.s. chpolicy towards these countries and to make appropriate policy that demonstrates meaningful consequences and encourage
positive change. and congress, we continue to recommend that individualme members advocate for international religious freedom i raising the issue and hearings for speeches, congressional delegations abroad and by sponsoring religious as nerves of conscience through the human rights commissions defending freedoms project. these kinds of actions push our government to do more and put pressure on foreign governments to live up to their treatyr obligations to defend freedom of religion or belief as enshrined in international law. with that, it is my great honor, honestly, to turn it over to commissioner frank wolf, a former congressman and key contributor back in 1998 and to talk about the recent policy recommendations that have been implemented as well as the case study on nigeria.
>> and q,l stephen. i want to thank all of you for attending. i also appreciate the chairman's comments in the good work that he has done. i want to thank the commissioner , it is important for his remarks on cpc, but you have to know who he is. a distinguished political philosophy professor at a catholic university which is a great university. he was a professor and aldepartment chair and also dea. i would like to introduce another commissioner that is present. eric. eric was appointed by mitch mcconnell. he was a senior official at the state department working on many of these issues at the state department and various spots. he was assistant to the president for legislative affairs which is one of the key jobs in the white house. he has had many staff positions up on capitol hill.
particularly in the united states senate. he was there sort of at the beginning it as chief of staff to former senator don nichols. he was closely involved in 1998. he has been involved in this issue from his negative branch, state department, also a key spot up on capitol hill in the united states senate which is a very unique place which very few of us understand. he does understand it. there is a lot of work to do. ten years ago they did a survey in 70% of the worlds population lives in a religious or repressive nation. the latest, 80%. maybe thes figures got even higher. eighty-one-82. they have recommended a number ofha recommendations in the past year that have been successful. the call for the administration to determine atrocities committed in china and in burma
constituting genocide. that the u.s. government wiofficials should not attend te beijing's 2022 winter olympics in china. the religious groups fleeing persecution should be, must be prioritized and resettlement efforts. increasing the use of human rights sanction against individuals for religious freedom abuses. authorizing the goal of the human rights act and the passage i know the chairman was very much involved in this. we hear forced labor prevention act. i think that this is very important. i appreciate stephen's comments about nigeria in the cpc delegation to nigeria headed by the commissioner.
the state department designated, as many of you remember, nigeria as a country particularly of concern for the first time in 2020. for some reason, delisted the country last year. the findings of the commission thconfirmed the position at the state department should redesignate nigeria as cpc this year. interesting enough, in nigeria, there was an attack on the catholic church. on pentecost sunday that killed at least 40 people. just a recent example of continued violence in nigeria where ad number of killings tht people faced have reached the thousands.ee especially against christians. it seems almost last month. the designation is necessary. it is not sufficient to address
the broad spectrum. every day. genocide, watch genocide. it is a big word. it is a powerful word. when the commission and others call what was taking place. involved in genocide. genocide. clear. no question. involved in genocidal massac years. lately, against the catholic church, every day i get a new article. what the commission is saying to
address these abuses. i close by saying this. the largest country in africa. over 200 may be 20 million people. many people believe. when you go there, they are good people. looking to the united states to do something. many people say so goes nigeria. we should do everything that we can to make sure that that does not take lace. we should be supportive of all the nigerian people. thank you[a very much. [applause] >> thank you, commissioners. thank you to all of you who have come to this event today. fothis is more of a roundtable format. we want to open it up to any
questions and comments. really get the balance of the time to engage in commissioners. some of the things we highlighted today are any other questions that may be on your minds. we have a microphone here that one of my colleagues will get. if you could speak into the microphone and ask a question. i will open the floor now to any of you that would like to please raise your hand. a comment or question this time. >> thank you very much, dwight. i am lauren. i have been working here for 32 years. i guess my question is for any of the commissioners. former congressman wolf. i wanted to bring up my issue of afghan religious minorities. many of them are still stuck in
afghanistan. a small number of people. they are at risk of death and were spared all kinds of terrible stories. they have actuated a large number of them. while other refugees are being processedbe, religious minoritis are not being processed because they don't have parenteral treatment. i really think that the only answer will be a ukraine type thing where religious groups in the u.s. are willing to take care of their fellow believers. i am just wondering whether you commissioners have that on your radar a screen. it is just kind of an emergency because they will try to clear out the humanitarian city by the end of august which is just around the corner. thank you.
>> okay, sure. no, i'll just make a comment that we have made that f >> i will just make a comment he had we have made that formal recommendation for the p2 status they have made that recommendations. unfortunately, as you will know, it is still on our radar. thank you for asking that. >> thank you so much for all thu work you are doing behind the scenes. irt don't think all of us cance truly appreciate that, but we can acknowledge it. what key priorities and recommendations do you have? what new initiatives are collaborations you will put in place with state department or civil groups to make sure that those are stopped.
thank you. >> go ahead. >> i'm not speaking for the commission. fred devi is not here. he can tell you where they spoke to and where it went. i am not speaking for the commission now. i think nigeria, i am speaking for myself. i think what needs to be done. if many of you recall, there was a very difficult time in sudan years ago. they credited president bush.
he has since left the senate. he became the special envoy for sudan. went over there quite frequently he went to organize the british that had a responsibility that they were not necessarily doing what they should have done. able to organize the un. having a person to be a special envoy for nigeria working on violence, but also to coordinate work with the british, work with hethe french, david easley, thee is tremendous hunger in nigeria. camps of people that were starved. 10% or more of the children not going to school. similar to what president bush and the secretary had great
confidence in tab somebody was given that responsibility to coordinate all the efforts of our government, but also working with britain, but i have a special envoy for nigeria because if what others are saying, so goes this country, sf goes that. i am speaking now for myself. i was not on the trip. >> i would just add to that. as more questions come in, we have several staff that my colleagues that are shall list in these countries and regions. on nigeria specifically, one of the focuses that we have spent time on days the current administration has delisted nigeria from the country of particular concern list. we spoke out very strongly that we felt like the conditions in the country warranted that designation. as commissioner wolf said, we
will have to wait to hear more from fred devi who was just there a few weeks ago. i can tell you this, he has felt that what he saw on the ground warrants that kind of designation based ono what he saw, based on who we talk to meeting with our embassy, meeting with religious communities and experts. this is something that we are focusing on. conditions do not improve let alone deteriorate. taking them off the list was not warranted. we have more detail in our reporting. why don't we go to the next question. >> hello, everyone. my name is pamela. i'm calling from los angeles california. we know taiwan has very special
in international community. i am here to bring up this topic. i want to see if you can help to open a venue for this kind of case. enqueue. >> thank you very much for the question. i do believe that it is important for all of us to hear more details about this. there is more information available. if there is role-play, absolutely. i think that our ears would be open and our creativity caps would beys on. speaking for myself, not for the commission, there is a lot of passion and energy on behalf of many members here in congress about taiwan and the importance of standing in solidarity and
vastly with taiwan especially given what has happened in europe since february of this year. issues where we can find a way to put our voice forward and put a foot forward, if it is necessary, encouraging our department from time to time to be much more active and energetic. i think we could all be very curious. by all means, grab us afterwards to talk with us a little bit more. >> bear with sse comes around with the mic. thank you. >> thank you very much. i am from sweden. the secretary of the international committee. in recent days, there has been some good news for pakistan as it is in the process of taken off the financial action task force.
itge used to be severely lackin. getting worse and worse. target killings have increased. in recent weeks, a father along with his two young children was stabbed and killed. they were dug up, bones investigated. all of these are sanctioned by the state. how can pakistan go out of thisf gray list and lack.in it is getting worse and worse. >> i will speak for myself because i do not know the commission has taken a position on that. when i was cochairman, it is
terriblez . a close personal friend of mine. i share your concerns. again, i am speaking now as an individual, not as a commission member. i completely agree, they are wonderful people and life has become very, very difficult. i share your concern. i'm just speaking, again, for myself. >> i will just add, as you well know, the commission has taken every opportunity to highlight the plight. the situation, unfortunately, it does not seem to go in a positive direction. it is concerned before it was for many years until it was eventually designated the mainly because of the treatment.
but there is also a lighter range of problems in pakistan as well. we have a set of recommendations around that. certainly, we appreciate your information that you provide to us to highlight these issues. to in the near future get a visit to pakistan. that is one of our priorities. it is been several years. in part because of the pandemic. we do hope to get back on the road later this year to pakistan to see some things firsthand. okay. thank you. please forward that information to us. we very much appreciate it. >> you have a follow-up on that. okay. then wee' will get to the next question. >> i am anita, also the chair
roundtable of pakistan it we have been doing a lot of ground raking work in pakistan. we held the first roundtable. there were two that were murdered and then there was the blast that went off in a mosque. i want to tell my brothers that the conversations we had, i was very happy to hear them. they have rules, i cannot really share a lot of them. the inclusions, the fact that the first foreign minister was also raised by people. i think the more that we engage witha them, the more that we wl be able u to, especially as wom, we have a unique addition to be able to talk about this. men, women, clerks from all sides sitting at that event. we talked about lgbtq which is,
for pakistan, unusual. we actually visited the christian communities and we found that they were the lowest, we are the lowest on the totem pole. it was very sad to see, my educators were christians in pakistan. to see them now, we have so many other issues to handle. the most important thing to remember out of that one and ata half years of engagement as representative of the roundtable, we need to engage. we need to engage more sipakistanis, more enmities andf course the commissioners.he we need to take delegations together. the moment you engage, they think the world is looking at us and then the collective conscious wakes up. thanklo you. .... ....k you. >> thank you.
bob: thank you. my name is bob full from china aid. i have two quick quick questions. the first one is as we were >> as we are aware while the commissioner rice was visiting in beijing a group of mainstream media outlets along with aoc had reported for the first time the previously undisclosed secret documents the truth of the information with thousands, 3000 names of those who suffered in the concentration camps. also some secret documents with the tiniest communist party leaders have been actively engineering this modern day
genocide. a lote of them is xi jinping hs name has been quoted by the minister of the public security, the commission of the politicalo and legal affairs of the communist party, his name according to president or xi jinping this should be done. very clearly xi jinping himself in this case should be personally accountable, personally held accountable. my first question is as an independent body, the user are you going to do something about it, at least recommend the administration with the waiver
or whatever in their names but i think is a principal according to the global human rights accountability act we havete sanctioned the first to be remembered after so much effort by everyone here. or do we have the guts even telling the world are telling the administration that xi jinping should be on the list, should be sanctioned because he is personally accountable for engineering this genocide. secondly under xi jinping the persecution in china has been really the worst since the cultural revolution in the 1960s. we have the chinese-american sentenced to 70 years in prison
and still imprisoned in china and hundreds of thousands of churches have been shut down and really every day we receive reports i'm sure the commissioner has been receiving reports and being briefed. one of the churches has suffered so much from shane jen one of the most open cities next to hong kong, congregation of the 60 members with 32 children, 28 adults had escaped to the island in south korea two years ago and unfortunately the south korean government because of the refugee asylum system and also reasonably fear of china's retribution had been repeatedly denied there asylum. i know on friday the commission
held a hearing on examining the south korean asylum policy but my question is, under president biden's credit he has raised the quota for every settlement three times impartially the quota goes to east asia and south asia. it's very disappointing to see even the new york times reported that in the last fiscal year even with the quota was already allocated, not a single one refugee sinker from china was being recognized and being resettled into the united states of america including not a single uighur, not a single uighur was recognized as
refugees in overseas and resettled to the u.s. with this 60 members and we have intelligence showing they are now on the island facing a possible kidnapping by the chinese apparatus because now the judge has relaxed the covid rules allowing those chinese to go there without needing a visa. my question what the commissionerss put this as a priority to help the administration to understand the dynamics those asylum-seekers especially from the religious prosecuted faithful chinese government has been engaging this transnational kidnapping. we personally rescue people when they are facing, they already
kidnapped thailand in the airport in the uae. the government working with china kidnapping is refugee. , would you help to get the administration some suggestion to recognize them and working with the u.s. embassies in this countries before the chinese government kidnapping them back to china and to resettle them. it's a modern-day and the pastor was ordained as a church pastor turkey in america. >> thank you so much let me turn into her chair i'm sure he'll want to respond to. >> before i address the china
issues i'm going to add a few points to the earlier countries that we we're going to discuss nigeria, pakistan and others. what is the classic mistakes, judicial mistakes and repeated mistakes our governments and others made always to call up government and the individuals when it's convenient and to look the other way when it's thinconvenient. perfectly not expedient. i think that's a wrong approach in the case of nigeria we made that and we disagree with the state department and we will continue to press the state department to reverse this and call nigeria a country in use the influence and pressure to make change on the ground. on the afghan issue, as you pointed out this is something that the united states government could do on the
humanitarian and other assistance, we support the u.s. government to resettle vulnerable religious individuals from the religious communities around the world. as for china we also support targeted sanctions we have helped not only one hearing, how to address atrocity crimes, how to stop genocide not only the uighur genocide we've also focused on the genocide and focusing on genocide we made recommendation to the state department. the sanction specifically global sanction is the most effective tools that we have home and in other countries that are similar legal tools that should be not only applied to individual entities but also the network. you are absolutely right, and china the order to prosecute
religious groups, christians and the uighurs comes from the top the ccp leadership with focus on the credential level that should be also part of the broader targeted sanction experts. so i support this opposition that we have recommended to the u.s. government to sanction the individual that you are mentioning earlier. the church issue that you raised. i think the audience and the policymakers need to know something aboutbo ccp. ccp is anti-religion entity. inherently anything that religion promotes goes in the face of the ccp ideology. that's why the use of terminology the transformation to force people to become
natives, to give up their way of life, force people to give up the religious beliefs.y now we only know the most brutal version of depression the top winto the uighurs but it begs e question who would be the next. the national community as well as the chinese individuals on theo ground need to pay attentn to the ccp policies specifically going after religious ethnic groups. >> i agree with bob, these people are endangered the chinese these people are going to places that nobody thought they would go in and they picked them up and they take them away and they're never seen again, clearly i'm speaking up and not commission and to come to the united states south korea is one of the great allies, wet love south korea.
one day it could be sunday next week or sunday and three months, all of a sudden they come in in the chinese are active in this country.d who he is related to call me one time and said there is a group outside of her house in fairfax county that were taking pictures of her and her license plates and we had theeo fbi check in, they were chinese security people and fairfax county. we could all drive there in 25 minutes. so bob is exactly right. again speaking for myself, every group in china is been prosecuted. colonel who is 900 years old has been charged. if he had a sentence for years in jail i've been in chinese prisons. he would had a very difficult time i am 83, to be in a prison
it would be very difficult, it is genocidal activity against. there have been 110200 some on their bodies and set themselves aflame and protest we know the uighurs i appreciate what you're commission is done in the administration to that. the protestant church the catholic church, tibetan buddhist in the uighurs, don't forget not to be too graphic but they are taking their organs out and selling them i think rob is exactly right, one of the purposes of thek commission is the only be ao truth teller and maybe say things that are not popular but to say the truth so the commission maintains that credibility so people that we can get to the commission i completely agree, the south korean government, the number of
things that we have done for south korea over the years since 1950. they should be letting them come here and i understand maybe some churches here that would help them but i completely agree and i think we should be helping them to get a particularly because i'll tell you we also publicly but someday you pick in the paper and you found out it won't get big coverage but is been picked up somewhere whether be an airport or at a shopping mall and you're never ever going to see them again. >> thank you that gentleman there. >> thank you. >> i am a uighur from the uighur congress. >> today the extreme uighurs and muslim camp in china. you know the party and religious corganizations today we were
armostly suffering with islam unfortunately most of the country where i see was china all the time china must be eradicated and unfortunatelyor most countries in pakistan and all the chinese policies to muslim and how we see it as a statement supports china. do you have any contact to approach with how we see into some other country and if yes what is the reaction. the organization and approaching
but we can we are not able to fax it. what is your suggestion to the organization. >> i can say a few words this is a great idea we have urged the oic in the past through an engagement to speak out we think frankly any predominantly muslim country has an opportunity here to speak out about the flight of uighurs great unfortunately we've seen a bit of the opposite in most cases where some governments have whitewashed what's going on there. unfortunately we even saw a recent visit by the high commissioner for human rights
who went fishing john and didd not speak as commissioner wolf said truth to power is what we really want to see. that is a challenge bc but there's a lot of bureaucracy in the organization and for things to get out and speak out our unfortunately not as simple. i do know the ambassador at large reshot hussein had some recent meetings at the oic and a visit he had to saudi arabia for other meetings and i'm pretty sure that was on the list. it's not for lackhe of trying bt in terms of what the response you might get is not as adequate as we would like to see from a coalition that is ready-made to speak out about the flight of fellow co-religionist and it seems like something that should
be done. did you want to add something customer. >> yes. >> during the obamamaad administration we had a senior-level diplomat letting the united states common to the same. in the last several years we don't have a formal representation in the position is beingng downgraded and now focusing to the diplomatic and their acting asat a representate to always see that should change without having a representative we will not be able to influence. >> next question. >> hi i'm here representing the alliance for absolute women organizations and i wanted to ask if any of the european countries were on your radar for
violating the religious freedom of muslim women bypassing who job loss not only violate the religious freedom they violate the freedom of expression and the right to decide being adequate clothing and their doing things like harassing women on public transportation, it has been banned and these laws are largely malicious because it irrelevant their passive national laws that impact at the most 35 - 40 women and they passed a law banning this government even though wearing masks is okay they passed a law very recently banning face coverings and only
20 to 35 of them are inspired to do that and austria less than 150. i'm confused like france passing laws, belgium, denmark, the netherlands are any of these countries on your radar, they are persecuting the weakest of theri week the most voiceless minority in their countries. >> i'm going to buy a minute for my colleagues to speak if you could bring the mic, dylan dante elizabeth. we have focused through not only public hearings but also on the contracted research to focus on the flight of muslims in europe and i'm going to invite my colleagues to say a few words on justice issue. >> hi i'm elizabeth cassidy director of research and of the commission.
this is a great question is been on our radar for a long, long time i've been on the commission staff are 15 years and we spoke about over the years when france was passing various laws against religious symbols and headscarves and burqas when switzerland passed its van, lisa been on our radar for a longpo time. we talk about our annual report, usually we talk about these issues in europe and a section on europe and as he just said we had a number of events over the years including a recent hearing maybe two months ago i'm trying to remember on anti-muslim policies and biased in europe. good question and they definitely are on our radar. >> in addition to addressing islamic phobia in europe were concerned about anti-semitism in europe. this used too be addressed on or agenda in the coming year there
was a gentleman here. you make support and point we had some hearings and we will continue to focus on europe as anti-muslim and anti-semitism as the policies that continue to concern us. please. >> afternoon my name is simon i'm a denver based researcher of cultural heritage crime but on behalf of the initiative called save armenian monument to pilgrimage regardless of political control. i have a question on behalf of the organization and please don't kill the messenger. how do commissioners balance engagement with some authoritarian states that are well-connected and use the rhetoric religious freedom to engage in platforms that are systematic violators. international freedom, thank
you. >> that's an excellent question. i tell you weref looking into that were deeply there are a number of countries that promote religious tolerance let's say an interface activity but not necessarily freedom i religious or belief and we have to distinguish between tolerance and religious freedom. there is a lot of rhetoric and some countries that would be authoritarian dictatorial regime and i think it's important to engage the commission has visited a number of these countries and engaged and have recommended to the state to push forward on these issues we are going deeper and we did do an episode of our podcast focusing on the middle east countries where the rhetoric of tolerance is no substitute for true
religious freedom we gave some examples i would encourage you to look at our website this needs a lot more attention because there is definitely a movement and recent years to speak that language but it doesn't necessarily mean the policies on the ground, the laws in place that there has been adequate reform that backs up the rhetoric or needs to go further certainly. thank you for that question i don't know if anyone else needs to,. >> sure i'm happy to add in an absolutely please take a look at the work that we've done today on this. you raise a great question and i think at least for me speaking for myself, freedom of expression for religion shouldll be allowed and tolerated everywhere in there isn't much reconciliation you need to do when you start with your first principles well grounded as you approach challenging and encases authoritarian regime, i speak
for my previous experience at the department of state, i'm sure others can talk a little bit about their experience is over the years two. so leaning forward, being clear, not falling or being gold by some of the rhetoric or very clever sophistry that is sometimes put on the table in persistence and repetition are critical aspects at least for me and how i see a little bit of my role as a commissioner a especially engaging with these regimes and the public voice which was mentioned earlier when there is focus brought by the commission particular instances or systemic challenges in a country or preserves a conscience, sometimes countries can react in an important way, that includes the united states of america, the department of
state as we said earlier our recommendations have not been accepted in the pool by the department. i find that incredibly unfortunate because the work that the commission does based on the legislative mandate and the support that it has in congress amongst the general public and certainly internationally is very significant in the state department fall short fire lights i'm certainly not to be shy in calling them out as well but we always come back to our calling our substantive mission. the idea that everywhere there are to be the opportunity for people to practice their faith and have a freedom of religion without interruption, without direct or indirect suppression and the ability to fully exercise that freedom is what
the framers of the statute including mr. frank wolf put int place and not something that will be calling and seizing my attention at least here. >> if i may add a thought in a comment i have served the commission in more than two years i have unique opportunity of speaking with some of the country representatives at home or abroad. i find those meetings to be helpful, sometime we have to present them at the bare minimum and to be freed from prison camps. we also need to talk to them to make a specific recommendation in the religious freedom issues and ordinance, directives for
local legislation. we have actively engaged in the been coming back to us. it's not all bad if the optics doesn't look good in reality we have to talk to them as commissioner mentioned standing up to the principal position i find it to be very helpful. >> thank you very much time has flown by. it's 2:00 o'clock i want to ask others of you to ask questions. unfortunately our time has run out. i would think hero commissiones today for having a chance to be a parent interact directly with you but this is just the beginning. as you know this is the beginning of the week of thegi international summit many of you or hopefully all of you will be participating in some way starting tomorrow through thursday there are events all over the place only at the plenary but the renaissance hotel and i tell you many of her commissioners there and we will
be on the program talking about religious conscience and some of what the chair was talking about the important of putting a face out there not just statistics in the numbers to see that these are real people all over the world that are suffering. thank you again one logistical note when you leave you will exit the building to the capitol visitor center so the main exit there, please keep that in mind you won't be going to the other congressional entry or exit. thank you again for coming today and will see you again soon. [applause]
>> here's a look at what's coming up tonight on c-span2. next adjusting the baby formula shortage in the u.s. is taken up on the senate floor, then an update from the white house on president biden's condition following a covid-19 diagnosis. and later the president's nominee for a tsa administrative from the homeland security committee during the confirmation hearing. c-span enter unfiltered view of government by these television companies and were including
cox. >> homework can be hard for squatting in a diner for internetwork is even harder, that's why we are providing lower income students access to affordable internet so homework can just be homework, fox connects to compete. >> box along with the other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> republican senator mike lee of utah introduced a bill that would address the baby formula shortage in the u.s. the bill passed by a voice vote and now heads to the white house. democratic senators talked about legislation boosting funding for family planning after the overturning of roe v. wade. republican senator joni ernst spoke in opposition. >> thank you, mr. president. i am honored to appear with a group of my colleagues on behalf of the expanding acces