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India Should Be A ‘Country Of Special Concern’ For Religious Freedom: USCIRF | India News

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WASHINGTON: A quasi-judicial body set up by the United States Congress asked the Biden administration on Wednesday to designate four nations, including India, as “countries of particular concern,” claiming religious freedom conditions there in 2020 continued their trajectory. negative.
The annual report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended that the US State Department redesign 10 nations as “countries of special interest.” These are Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The USCIRF in its non-binding report also recommended that the department add three more countries to the list: Russia, Syria and Vietnam.
“Designate India as a ‘Country of Special Concern,’ for engaging in and tolerating systematic, continuing and egregious violations of religious freedom, as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act,” said USCIRF.
India has said in the past that the US body on international religious freedom has chosen to be guided solely by its biases on an issue on which it has no locus standi. “Our position remains that we do not see any locus standi for a foreign entity to rule on the state of constitutionally protected rights of our citizens,” the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said last year. The USCIRF report urges the state department to impose sanctions on individuals and entities in India responsible for violations of religious freedom.
However, the recommendations were not unanimous. USCIRF Commissioner Johnnie Moore has officially registered his dissent. “Of all the countries in the world, India should not be a ‘country of special concern.’ It is governed by a pristine constitution, ”said Moore.

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