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US red-flags China, 10 other countries, for severe violations of religious freedom

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(TibetanReview.net, Dec04’22) – As in past many years, the United States has on Dec 2 designated China – along with Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, the DPRK, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan – as a Country of Particular Concern under its International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.

“Our announcement of these designations is in keeping with our 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,” Secretary of State Antony J Blinken said in a statement while announcing the designation.

He said that around the world, governments and non-state actors harass, threaten, jail, and even kill individuals on account of their beliefs.

He has made it clear that the United Sates will “continue to carefully monitor the status of freedom of religion or belief in every country around the world and advocate for those facing religious persecution or discrimination.”

Four other countries – Algeria, the Central African Republic, Comoros, and Vietnam – have been placed on a Special Watch List for engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom.

Besides, eight Islamic terrorist groups, as well as the Kremlin-associated Russian private paramilitary organization the Wagner Group, have been designated as Entities of Particular Concern. The mercenary group is active in Syria, Africa and Ukraine.

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