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Listing Afghanistan as non secular liberty violator, report urges State Division

(RNS) — The U.S. Fee on Worldwide Freedom advisable that Afghanistan be added to the State Division’s checklist of worst non secular freedom violators, citing the adjustments that resulted when the Taliban took management of the nation final yr.

The federal panel mentioned in its annual report launched Monday (April 25) that the regime change has meant worsening circumstances for non secular liberty and important deterioration of human rights total.

“Non secular minorities confronted harassment, detention, and even demise as a consequence of their religion or beliefs,” the bipartisan fee mentioned within the report’s introduction. “The one recognized Jew and most Hindus and Sikhs fled the nation. Christian converts, Baha’is, and Ahmadiyya Muslims practiced their religion in hiding as a consequence of concern of reprisal and threats from the Taliban.”

The final time the watchdog fee advisable Afghanistan be thought-about “a rustic of specific concern,” the State Division designation that alerts ongoing, systematic and egregious non secular freedom violations, was in 2001, simply previous to the ouster of the earlier Taliban regime that managed many of the nation for 5 years.

The Taliban has been on the State Division’s checklist of “entities of specific concern” yearly since federal officers started that designation in 2018.

USCIRF renewed its advice that the Central African Republic be positioned on the State Division’s “particular watch checklist,” its second-highest designation. Final yr the panel urged CAR be dropped as a consequence of a discount in violence in opposition to folks primarily based on their non secular id, however the brand new report says circumstances have not too long ago worsened.

RELATED: Afghanistan tops Open Doors watch list of worst countries for Christians

Report cowl for the 2022 Annual Report launched by the USA Fee on Worldwide Non secular Freedom. Courtesy of the USCIRF

“Throughout 2021, Central African authorities and their companions dedicated egregious and ongoing violations of spiritual freedom in CAR — together with focused abductions, torture, and killings of Muslims,” the report said.

USCIRF additionally has requested that the State Division redesignate the next nations as nations of specific concern, or CPCs: Myanmar, (known as Burma on the official checklist), China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Along with Afghanistan, the watchdog requested the next nations even be cited as CPCs: India, Nigeria, Syria and Vietnam.

The State Division has listed three nations, Algeria, Cuba and Nicaragua, on its particular watch checklist. Along with CAR, the commissioners requested that these eight nations be included: Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The report, which affords key methods presidential administrations and Congress implement the 1998 Worldwide Non secular Freedom Act, famous the confirmations of Rashad Hussain as the brand new U.S. ambassador-at-large for non secular freedom and Deborah Lipstadt because the particular envoy to watch and fight antisemitism.

It additionally reiterated USCIRF commissioners’ concern that the State Division determined to not redesignate Nigeria as a CPC “regardless of non secular freedom circumstances not altering considerably from the earlier yr” and “utterly bypassed” downgrading it to the particular watch checklist. The brand new report particulars “significantly extreme non secular freedom violations” that occurred there in 2021.

RELATED: Russia added to State Department list of worst religious liberty violators

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