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U.S. designates Pak., China as countries of particular concern for violation of religious freedom

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The U.S. will proceed to work tirelessly to finish religiously motivated abuses and persecution world wide, says Mike Pompeo

The United States has designated Pakistan and China amongst eight different countries which might be of particular concern for violation of religious freedom, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has mentioned.

Pakistan and China together with Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan had been positioned within the checklist for partaking in or tolerating systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom , Mr. Pompeo mentioned in an announcement on Monday.

The State Department positioned the Comoros, Cuba, Nicaragua and Russia on a Special Watch List (SWL) for governments which have engaged in or tolerated extreme violations of religious freedom .

“Religious freedom is an unalienable right, and the bedrock upon which free societies are built and flourish. Today, the United States — a nation founded by those fleeing religious persecution, as the recent Commission on Unalienable Rights report noted — once again took action to defend those who simply want to exercise this essential freedom, Mr. Pompeo said.

The U.S. also designated al-Shabaab, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin and the Taliban as ‘Entities of Particular Concern’

Mr. Pompeo said the U.S. did not renew the prior ‘Entity of Particular Concern’ designations for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS-Khorasan due to the total loss of territory formerly controlled by these terrorist organisations.

“While these two groups no longer meet the statutory criteria for designation, we will not rest until we have fully eliminated the threat of religious freedom abuses by any violent extremist and terrorist groups,” he mentioned.

‘Progress in Sudan, Uzbek’

Mr. Pompeo mentioned Sudan and Uzbekistan have been faraway from the Special Watch List primarily based on vital, concrete progress undertaken by their respective governments over the previous 12 months.

“Their courageous reforms of their laws and practices stand as models for other nations to follow,” he mentioned.

However, our work is much from full, Mr. Pompeo mentioned, including that the uswill proceed to work tirelessly to finish religiously motivated abuses and persecution world wide, and to assist be sure that every individual, in all places, always, has the best to dwell in keeping with the dictates of conscience.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) praised the State Department’s transfer to place 10 nations within the checklist of Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs), together with Nigeria for the primary time, and 4 countries on the SWL for extreme violations, pursuant to the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).

We are gratified that the State Department has named 10 countries as CPCs. We significantly welcome Nigeria’s designation for the primary time as a CPC for tolerating egregious violations of religious freedom, which USCIRF had been recommending since 2009. Nigeria is the primary secular democracy that has been named a CPC, which demonstrates that we have to be vigilant that each one varieties of governments respect religious freedom,” mentioned USCIRF Chair Gayle Manchin.

We are inspired to see that the designation this 12 months additionally displays vital developments in religious freedom in Uzbekistan and Sudan, which had been each faraway from the SWL. While USCIRF really useful earlier in 2020 that these two countries keep on the SWL, it’s plain the historic progress that has been made in these two countries. We hope that their progress encourages constructive change in different places world wide,” mentioned Vice Chair Tony Perkins.

Notably, the State Department didn’t settle for the USCIRF suggestion that India, Russia, Syria and Vietnam be additionally designated as CPCs.

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