USCIRF lists India under ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ Category
In a recent report from USCIRF, India was categorised as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ with regards to religious freedom.
USCIRF or United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is a US government commission created in 1998 by the International Religious Freedom Act. It makes policy recommendations (such as sanctions) to the President, Secretary of State and the Congress and reviews cases of international violations of religious freedom.
Countries of Particular Concern
The USCIRF categorises countries according to its assessment of the religious freedom prevalent there. The ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ is the bottom-most category. Recently, 5 countries were added to this list: India, Nigeria, Russia, Syria and Vietnam. Already on the list are China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
The UNCIRF downgraded the listing of India recently while quoting the Citizenship Amendment Act, the proposed National Population Register, mob violence, hate speech, etc. as reasons. The commission recommended targeted sanctions against Indian officials involved in such violations of religious freedom.