US NGOs ask Biden to sanction Indian officials

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US NGOs ask Biden to sanction Indian officials

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 16

Over 30 US civil society organisations have issued a joint resolution urging the Biden Administration to sanction India for religious persecution of non-Hindu Indians.

Issued on the closing day of the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington and initiated by the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), the resolution urged the US State Department to designate India as a “Country of Particular Concern”, and to sanction officials and others promoting religious discrimination and open persecution of non-Hindu religions in India.

It listed specific instances and historical evidence of government-backed harassment, oppression, and intimidation of Christians, Jews,

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Muslims, and others.

“The organisations found it anachronistic that the US champions civil rights and criticises other countries for their violations but not India,” said Rasheed Ahmed of IAMC.

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A US Senator and two members of Congress were among those who voiced their concerns about religious discrimination and intolerance in India.

“I remain seriously concerned about the Indian government’s commitment to protecting the rights of minorities,” said US Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) noted that acts of violence are not only targeting religious minorities, but social and political activists, lawyers, journalists, and students.

The US Department of State report, released by Secretary Antony Blinken in 2020, had also noted “reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism, and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice and speak about their religious beliefs”.

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