US Senators write to Pompeo, demand India be in ‘Country of Particular Concern’ list

Washington, DC:Coalition to Stop Genocide in India’ – a broad coalition of Indian American and US-based civil rights organizations and activists, Tuesday welcomed a letter written by fourteen US Senators to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressing that US law requires the US Government to consider a federal commission’s recommendations that some countries be designated as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC), which is the US Government’s official term for countries that are the world’s worst offenders of religious freedom.

The bipartisan letter was signed by ten Republican senators and four Democratic senators and sent to Secretary Pompeo this month.  Last year, the US designated nine countries, including China, North Korea, Burma, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, as CPC on the basis of USCIRF recommendations. In April this year, the USCIRF recommended adding nine more countries, including India, to this list.

CSGI has repeatedly called for the inclusion of India in the list of countries of particular concern, and has urged the State Department to accept USCIRF’s recommendations in this regard. “We are encouraged to see the pressure from Congress to designate India a Country of Particular Concern. The US should always lead with its values and hold our friends accountable when they miss the mark on religious freedom,” said Matias Perttula, Advocacy Director, International Christian Concern. “The Modi government must move away from its radical agenda and secure the rights and liberties of all religious minorities in India as is guaranteed in its constitution.”

Added Ahsan Khan, National President, IAMC: “The Senators’ letter to Secretary Pompeo shows that there is a strong bipartisan Congressional support for holding India accountable for its escalating violence against its principal minorities, the Muslims and the Christians. The US Government must designate India as CPC.”

The Senators who have signed the letter are James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia).  (Courtesy: Clarion India)

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