Thursday, June 10, 2010

Commission to hold hearing in Morocco

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, which is co-chaired by congressmen James McGovern (D - MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA), will hold a hearing on human rights and religious freedom in Morocco on Thursday June 17th, 2010.

The hearing will be open to the press and the public. The reason for the hearings, according to the commission, is the deportation of approximately 40 American citizens and scores of other foreign nationals on charges of proselytism, thus “it has raised serious concerns about the status of religious freedom in Morocco”.
The individuals deported, according to a statement from the commission, ran a wide array of humanitarian organizations, which provided services vital to the community. One of the organizations targeted was the Village of Hope, an orphanage that takes in children that have been abandoned by their parents.
A statement from the commission cited an article by Time Magazine that said, “The Village of Hope deportations are part of what appears to be a widespread crackdown on Christian aid workers in Morocco.” 

Also cited, as an example is the Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World Report, which noted “a backsliding in Morocco on a host of other democracy and human rights issues over the course of the last year”.

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