IAMC deeply disappointed by State Department’s failure to designate India as Country of Particular Concern
Washington, D.C. (January 5, 2024) – The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) expresses deep disappointment at the recent decision by the US State Department to overlook the recommendation of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and refrain from designating India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC), a designation reserved for the world’s most severe violators of religious freedoms.
For the past four years, USCIRF has recommended that the State Department, headed by Secretary Antony Blinken, designate India as a CPC due to the exponential rise in violence and discrimination against Muslims and Christians in the country.
In a statement, USCIRF expressed “extreme disappointment” over the State Department’s omission to label India as a CPC, saying that there was “no justification as to why the State Department did not designate” India as CPC over rampant human rights violations under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government.
“We met with the State Department on many occasions to sound the alarm about these countries, but not all of our recommendations have been followed. We will not be deterred and will continue our role as a congressionally mandated watchdog to ensure the U.S. government prioritizes religious freedom as a key component of U.S. foreign policy,” said USCIRF Chair Abraham Cooper and Vice Chair Frederick A. Davie.
“In India, in addition to perpetrating egregious religious freedom violations within its borders, the government has increased its transnational repression activities targeting religious minorities abroad and those advocating on their behalf,” they added.
The commission has urged Congress to convene a public hearing to address the State Department’s failure to adhere to USCIRF’s recommendations concerning India, as well as Nigeria.
“The unchecked rise in violence and discrimination against religious minorities in India demands global attention. Despite repeated alarms raised with the State Department, the absence of India’s CPC designation is deeply concerning, failing to address the rampant human rights violations under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government,” said Rasheed Ahmed, Executive Director of IAMC.
“The continued transnational repression targeting religious minorities both within and beyond Indian borders highlights the urgent need for action and accountability on the international stage. Repeated failure to designate India as a CPC will only encourage the Indian government to double down on its persecution,” Ahmed added.