Washington: A coalition of 22 human rights and faith-based organizations and 14 individuals have sent a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over his refusal to designate India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC).
For the last two years, in 2020 and in 2021, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has noted that the Indian government has been “engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations, as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRA).”
In recognition of this situation, the USCIRF recommended in its 2020 and 2021 annual reports that the U.S. Department of State declare India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC).
Despite these recommendations, Secretary Blinken refused to designate India as a CPC in his November 15 announcement.
In response, Hindus for Human Rights and Indian American Muslim Council drafted a joint letter stating that “The national security and strategic imperatives of the United States are not strengthened but actually undermined if the US government continues to ignore rising religious persecution and human rights abuses in India.”
The letter urges Secretary Blinken to reconsider his decision and “designate India as a CPC at the earliest.”
The letter was signed by leading human rights organizations, including Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA, Genocide Watch, India Civil Watch International, and the Tom Lantos Foundation For Human Rights and Justice.
The letter also received endorsements from religious denominations and faith-based organizations such as the Federation of Indian American Christians of North America, International Christian Concern, Islamic Circle of North America’s Council for Social Justice, Islamic Society of North America, New York State Council of Churches, and the Orthodox Public Affairs Committee.