(a) Response to particularly severe violations of religious freedom
(1) United States policy
It shall be the policy of the United States—
(A)to oppose particularly severe violations of religious freedom that are or have been engaged in or tolerated by the governments of foreign countries; and
(B)to promote the right to freedom of religion in those countries through the actions described in subsection (c) of this section.
(2) Requirement of Presidential action
Whenever the President determines that the government of a foreign country has engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom, the President shall oppose such violations and promote the right to religious freedom through one or more of the actions described in subsection (c) of this section.
(b) Designations of countries of particular concern for religious freedom
(1) Annual review
(A) In general
Not later than September 1 of each year, the President shall review the status of religious freedom in each foreign country to determine whether the government of that country has engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom in that country during the preceding 12 months or since the date of the last review of that country under this subparagraph, whichever period is longer. The President shall designate each country the government of which has engaged in or tolerated violations described in this subparagraph as a country of particular concern for religious freedom.
(B) Basis of review
Each review conducted under subparagraph (A) shall be based upon information contained in the latest Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the Annual Report, and on any other evidence available and shall take into account any findings or recommendations by the Commission with respect to the foreign country.
Any review under subparagraph (A) of a foreign country may take place singly or jointly with the review of one or more countries and may take place at any time prior to September 1 of the respective year.
(2) Determinations of responsible parties
For the government of each country designated as a country of particular concern for religious freedom under paragraph (1)(A), the President shall seek to determine the agency or instrumentality thereof and the specific officials thereof that are responsible for the particularly severe violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by that government in order to appropriately target Presidential actions under this section in response.
(3) Congressional notification
Whenever the President designates a country as a country of particular concern for religious freedom under paragraph (1)(A), the President shall, as soon as practicable after the designation is made, transmit to the appropriate congressional committees—
(A)the designation of the country, signed by the President; and
(B)the identification, if any, of responsible parties determined under paragraph (2).
(c) Presidential actions with respect to countries of particular concern for religious freedom
(1) In general
Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), (4), and (5) with respect to each country of particular concern for religious freedom designated under subsection (b)(1)(A) of this section, the President shall, after the requirements of sections
6444 of this title have been satisfied, but not later than 90 days (or 180 days in case of a delay under paragraph (3)) after the date of designation of the country under that subsection, carry out one or more of the following actions under subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (B):
(A) Presidential actions
One or more of the Presidential actions described in paragraphs (9) through (15) of section
6445(a) of this title, as determined by the President.
(B) Commensurate actions
Commensurate action in substitution to any action described in subparagraph (A).
(2) Substitution of binding agreements
(A) In general
In lieu of carrying out action under paragraph (1), the President may conclude a binding agreement with the respective foreign government as described in section
6445(c) of this title. The existence of a binding agreement under this paragraph with a foreign government may be considered by the President prior to making any determination or taking any action under this subchapter.
(B) Statutory construction
Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to authorize the entry of the United States into an agreement covering matters outside the scope of violations of religious freedom.
(3) Authority for delay of Presidential actions
If, on or before the date that the President is required (but for this paragraph) to take action under paragraph (1), the President determines and certifies to Congress that a single, additional period of time not to exceed 90 days is necessary—
(A)for a continuation of negotiations that have been commenced with the government of that country to bring about a cessation of the violations by the foreign country;
(B)for a continuation of multilateral negotiations into which the United States has entered to bring about a cessation of the violations by the foreign country;
(i)for a review of corrective action taken by the foreign country after designation of such country as a country of particular concern; or
(ii)in anticipation that corrective action will be taken by the foreign country during the 90-day period,
then the President shall not be required to take action until the expiration of that period of time.
(4) Exception for ongoing Presidential action under this chapter
The President shall not be required to take action pursuant to this subsection in the case of a country of particular concern for religious freedom, if with respect to such country—
(A)the President has taken action pursuant to this chapter in a preceding year;
(B)such action is in effect at the time the country is designated as a country of particular concern for religious freedom under this section; and
(C)the President reports to Congress the information described in section
6444(a)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of this title regarding the actions in effect with respect to the country.
(5) Exception for ongoing, multiple, broad-based sanctions in response to human rights violations
At the time the President determines a country to be a country of particular concern, if that country is already subject to multiple, broad-based sanctions imposed in significant part in response to human rights abuses, and such sanctions are ongoing, the President may determine that one or more of these sanctions also satisfies the requirements of this subsection. In a report to Congress pursuant to section
6444(a)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of this title, and, as applicable, to section
6448 of this title, the President must designate the specific sanction or sanctions which he determines satisfy the requirements of this subsection. The sanctions so designated shall remain in effect subject to section
6449 of this title.
(d) Statutory construction
A determination under this chapter, or any amendment made by this chapter, that a foreign country has engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom shall not be construed to require the termination of assistance or other activities with respect to that country under any other provision of law, including section
2304 of this title.
This subchapter, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(A), was in the original “this title”, meaning title IV of Pub. L. 105–292, Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2800, which is classified principally to this subchapter. For complete classification of title IV to the Code, see Tables.
This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (c)(4) and (d), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 105–292, Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2787, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section
6401 of this title and Tables.
1999—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 106–55, § 2(a)(1), substituted “(4), and (5)” for “and (4)” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 106–55, § 2(a)(2)(A), inserted “under this chapter” after “Exception for ongoing Presidential action” in heading.
Subsec. (c)(4)(B) to (D), (5). Pub. L. 106–55, § 2(a)(2)(B)–(D), inserted “and” at end of subpar. (B), substituted period for “; and” at end of subpar. (C), redesignated subpar. (D) as par. (5), inserted par. heading, and substituted “At the time” for “at the time”.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.
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Statutes at Large
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