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USCIRF Calls For Targeted Sanctions For Religious Freedom Violations In India

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USCIRF Calls For Targeted Sanctions For Religious Freedom Violations In India

Photo : The report cited the specific case of BJP member Gyan Dev Ahuja who ‘was recorded publicly calling for his listeners to “kill anyone involved in cow slaughter.”’

India-West News Desk

WASHINGTON, DC -The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, the bipartisan congressional commission, has urged the Biden administration to impose “targeted sanctions on Indian government agencies and officials responsible for severe violations of the right to freedom of religion of belief.”

USCIRF has designated at least 15 nations under Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) in its 2023 report, including India. Others on the list include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Russia, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Syria, North Korea, and Tajikistan.

Among the recommendations the USCIRF has made to the US government on page 24 of the report:

“Advance human rights for all religious communities in India and promote religious freedom, dignity, and interfaith dialogue through bilateral engagement and in multilateral forums; Condemn ongoing religious freedom violations and support religious organizations and human rights groups targeted for their advocacy of religious freedom; and Impose targeted sanctions on Indian government agencies and officials responsible for severe violations of religious freedom by freezing those individuals’ assets and/or barring their entry into the United States under human rights related financial and visa authorities, citing specific religious freedom violations.”

To Congress, USCIRF has said, it must “Raise religious freedom issues in the U.S.-India bilateral relationship and highlight concerns through hearings, briefings, letters, and congressional delegations.”

Detailing what is wrong in India, the report said, the Indian government has “invoked the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and the Sedition Act

throughout the year to target freedom of religion and expression, creating an increasing climate of intimidation and fear. Authorities surveilled, harassed, detained, and prosecuted a number of journalists, lawyers, rights activists, and religious minorities advocating for religious freedom. Hundreds of cases remained pending against individuals for involvement in the 2019 peaceful protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).”

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It must be noted the US administration does not always comply with the CIRF recommendations. India has been on the list since 2019 but has never been designated.

Experts say that Washington fears that designating New Delhi could have a serious impact and effects on the bilateral understanding between the two countries, especially in view of countering a mutual rival, China.

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  • Why it is that international community, especially the United States not sensitive to the sentiments of the majority Hindus. It is the law of the land NOT to kill cows, like in Pakistan pig meat is considered sinful. If one needs to eat cow meat, get the heck out of there and to move somewhere else. Nobody will hold you!

    May 3, 2023
    • Vijay, I do have if not not more, same rights as any other Indian no matter what religion I belong to.
      My country does not belong to Hindus or to any other religious community. My constitution allows me equal right. I am Jain. If I start imposing my values on Hindus, then I can also tell you to get the heck out of my country if you want to eat garlik, onion it ginger. I can kick out everybody who prefer to eat after sunset. And there is a vast group of Hindus too who enjoys meat in their food. So, just chill. As long as they do not steal your cow or buffalo, they have as much right to eat meat as you have to eat your veggies.

      May 4, 2023
      • Hy Mayur, There is a difference between being Hindu & Non Hindu in Bhaarat .
        Protecting Nn Hindu in Bhaarat makes it unequal right that prevents the constitutional equal rights given to Hindu.
        After giving Pakistan in 1947 , & converted minorities don’t have to have same rights as Hindu because of their own act, that constitution & law of the land need to protect to make it equal. This being internal matter, no other country have any right to interfere in Bhaartiya affairs. If killing Cow is disallowed by the constitution , it must be implemented & protected by Law.

        May 4, 2023
    Now the Indian Govt. can place sanctions on US for funding Pakistan and training its army.

    There are a million things that India can sanction too.

    And then open up full trade with Russia including selling military hardware and Iran too.

    May 5, 2023

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