US designates Pakistan, Iran, China among others as countries of concern over religious freedom

The United States on Friday detailed Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia, amongst others, as nations of particular difficulty below the Religious Freedom Act over severe violations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.Blinken in a statement stated the ones designated as international locations of specific concern – which also encompass North Korea and Myanmar – engaged in or tolerated intense violations of religious freedom.

Algeria, the Central African Republic, Comoros and Vietnam have been located on the watch listing.Several companies, which includes the Kremlin-aligned Wagner Group, a private paramilitary corporation that is energetic in Syria, Africa and Ukraine, have been additionally exact as entities of specific subject. The Wagner organization was unique over its sports within the Central African Republic, Blinken stated.

“Around the world, governments and non-country actors harass, threaten, prison, and even kill individuals due to their beliefs,” Blinken stated inside the assertion.

“The United States will not stand by way of in the face of these abuses.”

He brought that Washington might welcome the possibility to satisfy with all governments to outline concrete steps for removal from the lists.Washington has expanded pressure on Iran over the brutal crackdown on protesters. Women have waved and burned headscarves – obligatory below Iran’s conservative dress codes – in the course of the demonstrations that mark one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

The United Nations says more than three hundred human beings were killed up to now and 14,000 arrested in protests that commenced after the Sept 16 demise in custody of twenty-two-12 months-vintage Kurdish lady Mahsa Amini after she turned into detained for “irrelevant attire.”

United Nations experts have also referred to as on Iran to forestall persecution and harassment of religious minorities and quit using religion to curtail the workout of essential rights.

The Baha’i network is among the maximum significantly persecuted religious minorities in Iran, with a marked increase in arrests and concentrated on this year, part of what the UN experts known as broader policy of targeting dissenting beliefs or non secular practices, including Christian converts and atheists.

The United States has expressed grave concerns about human rights within the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, which is domestic to ten million Uyghurs.

The different nations distinctive as international locations of unique difficulty were Cuba, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

The US Religious Freedom Act of 1998 requires the president – who assigns the function to the secretary of State – to designate as nations of precise challenge states which are deemed to violate non secular freedom on a systematic and ongoing foundation.

The act gives Blinken a variety of policy responses, inclusive of sanctions or waivers, but they’re no longer computerized.

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