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US govt clarifies India will not be added to their watchlist for religious freedom violations this year, India had slammed their previous reports as biased

Earlier this week, the US Department of State said Cuba and Nicaragua were added to the list of countries of "Particular Concern". Meanwhile, China, Russia, Iran, Burma, Eritrea, North Korea and Pakistan were retained on the list. 

The United States has made it clear that India will not be placed on its list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ or ‘Special Watch list’ this year for violations of religious freedom. 

During the State Department briefing on December 6, spokesperson Ned Price, said, “When it comes to India, India of course is the world’s largest democracy. It’s home to a great diversity of faiths.” “Our Annual Report on International Religious Freedom outlines some of the concerns we’ve taken note of when it comes to India, and we continue to carefully monitor the religious freedom situation in all countries and that includes in India,” he said during the briefing.

This statement came as the Biden administration released the names of countries designated under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Under this act, the US government is required to annually review the status of religious freedom in every country in the world and designate each country the government of which has engaged in or tolerated “particularly severe violations of religious freedom” as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC), according to The Australia Today.

During the press conference on Tuesday, Price said the US will continue to encourage the Indian Government to uphold its commitments to protect religious freedom for all.

He added the US government engage foreign officials regularly on steps they can take to advance religious freedom.

Earlier this week, the US Department of State said Cuba and Nicaragua were added to the list of countries of “Particular Concern”. Meanwhile, China, Russia, Iran, Burma, Eritrea, North Korea and Pakistan were retained on the list. 

The Biden administration said that its announcement of these designations is in keeping with the values and interests to protect national security and to advance human rights around the globe. 

“Countries that effectively safeguard this and other human rights are more peaceful, stable, prosperous and more reliable partners of the United States than those that do not,” the statement added.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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