By Mr. McCAIN (for himself and Mr. LIEBERMAN):

   S.J. Res. 3. A joint resolution expressing the sense of Congress with respect to human rights in Central Asia; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

   Mr. MCCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the Joint Resolution expressing the sense of the Congress with respect to human rights in Central Asia, be printed in the RECORD.

   There being no objection, the joint resolution ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

   S.J. Res. 3

   Whereas the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan provided the United States with important assistance in the war in Afghanistan, from military basing and overflight rights to the facilitation of humanitarian relief;

   Whereas America's victory over the Taliban in turn provided important benefits to the Central Asian nations, removing a regime that threatened their security, and significantly weakening the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a terrorist organization that had previously staged armed raids from Afghanistan into the region;

   Whereas, the United States has consistently urged the nations of Central Asia to open their political systems and economies and to respect human rights, both before and since the attacks of September 11, 2001;

   Whereas Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are members of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, both of which confer a range of human rights obligations on their members;

   Whereas, according to the State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the Government of Kazakhstan harasses and monitors independent media and human rights activists, restricts freedom of association and opposition political activity, and allows security forces to commit extrajudicial executions, torture, and arbitrary detention with impunity;

   Whereas, according to the Department of State, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic engages in arbitrary arrest and detention, restricts the activities of political opposition figures, religious organizations deemed ``extremist,'' human rights activists, and nongovernmental organizations, and discriminates against ethnic minorities;

   Whereas, according to the Department of State, the Government of Tajikistan remains authoritarian, curtailing freedoms of speech, assembly, and association, with security forces committing extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, disappearances, and torture;

   Whereas, according to the Department of State, Turkmenistan is a Soviet-style one-party state centered around the glorification of its president, which engages in serious human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrest and detention, severe restrictions of personal privacy, repression of political opposition, and restrictions on freedom of speech and nongovernmental activity;

   Whereas, according to the Department of State, the government of Uzbekistan continues to commit serious human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrest, detention and torture in custody, particularly of Muslims who practice their religion outside state controls, the severe restriction of freedom of speech, the press, religion, independent political activity and nongovernmental organizations, and detains over 7,000 people for political or religious reasons;

   Whereas the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has expressed concern about religious persecution in the region, recommending that Turkmenistan be named a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, and that Uzbekistan be placed on a special ``Watch List'';

   Whereas, by continuing to suppress human rights and to deny citizens peaceful, democratic means of expressing their convictions, the nations of Central Asia risk fueling popular support for violent and extremist movements, thus undermining the goals of the war on terrorism;

   Whereas President Bush has made the defense of ``human dignity, the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women and private property and free speech and equal justice and religious tolerance'' strategic goals of United States foreign policy in the Islamic world, arguing that ``a truly strong nation will permit legal avenues of dissent for all groups that pursue their aspirations without violence''; and

   Whereas the Congress has expressed its desire to see deeper reform in Central Asia in past resolutions and other legislation, most recently conditioning assistance to Uzbekistan on its progress in meeting human rights and democracy commitments to the United States: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it is the sense of the Congress that--

    (1) the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan should accelerate democratic reforms and fulfill their human rights obligations including, where appropriate, by--

    (A) releasing from prison all those jailed for peaceful political activism or the nonviolent expression of their political or religious beliefs;

    (B) fully investigating any credible allegations of torture and prosecuting those responsible;

    (C) permitting the free and unfettered functioning of independent media outlets, independent political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, whether officially registered or not;

    (D) permitting the free exercise of religious beliefs and ceasing the persecution of members of religious groups and denominations not registered with the state;

    (E) holding free, competitive, and fair elections; and

    (F) making publicly available documentation of their revenues and punishing those engaged in official corruption;

    (2) the President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense should--

    (A) continue to raise at the highest levels with the governments of the nations of Central Asia specific cases of political and religious persecution, and urge greater respect for human rights and democratic freedoms at every diplomatic opportunity;

    (B) take progress in meeting the goals outlined in paragraph (1) into account when determining the level and frequency of United States diplomatic engagement with the governments of the Central Asian nations, the allocation of United States assistance, and the nature of United States military engagement with the countries of the region;

    (C) ensure that the provisions of the foreign operations appropriations Acts are fully implemented to ensure that no United States assistance benefits security forces in Central Asia implicated in violations of human rights;

    (D) follow the recommendations of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom by designating Turkmenistan a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 and by making clear that Uzbekistan risks designation if conditions there do not improve;

    (E) press the Government of Turkmenistan to respect the right of imprisoned opposition leader Boris Shikmuradov to due process and a fair trial and to release democratic activists and their family members from prison, and urge the Government of Russia not to extradite to Turkmenistan members of that country's political opposition;

    (F) work with the Government of Kazakhstan to create a political climate free of intimidation and harassment, including releasing political prisoners and permitting the return of political exiles, most notably Akezan Kazegeldin, and to reduce official corruption, including by urging the Government of Kazakhstan to cooperate with the ongoing Department of Justice investigation; and

    (G) support through United States assistance programs those individuals, nongovernmental organizations, and media outlets in Central Asia working to build more open societies, to support the victims of human rights abuses, and to expose official corruption; and

    (3) increased levels of United States assistance to the governments of the Central Asian nations made possible by their cooperation in the war in Afghanistan can be sustained only if there is substantial and continuing progress towards meeting the goals outlined in paragraph (1).