For immediate release
Contact: Zahir Adil
Justice For All, Save India Project
+1 (781) 492-5388
(Washington DC, April 28, 2020) Justice For All welcomes the recommendations made on India in the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Annual Report with Recommendations for U.S. Policy of 2020.
Justice For All applauds that India has been recognized as a country of particular concern, where religious freedoms are disappearing under the right-wing Hindu nationalist leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government. This is an important step towards curbing the rising tide of anti-Muslim and anti-minority policies within India.
Tony Perkins, of USCIRF, announced the designation at the release of the commission’s annual report in an online meeting on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. He said in the statement, “Though other countries deteriorated, particularly India, we see international religious freedom on an upward trajectory overall.”
In 2019, the BJP implemented policies such as the Citizenship (Amendment) Act violating religious freedom especially for Muslims, potentially exposing millions to detention, deportation and statelessness once the National Register of Citizens is completed, stated Nadine Maenza, Vice Chair of USCRIF. The designation recommendation of a Country of Particular Concern for India comes for the first time since 2004.
Among the recommendations made are:
1) Designate India as a country of Particular Concern with respect to religious freedoms.
2) Impose sanctions on Indian government agencies and individuals. Sanctions must be placed on the Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah; the Chief Minister of the State of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath; and on the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, as soon as his diplomatic status runs out.
3) Strengthen US Embassies and Consulates connections with local religious communities to build capacity to protect religious minorities.
“As an Indian-American, watching India slide down the same path that Nazi Germany had taken, I am pleased that the new 2020 USCIRF report makes recommendations so the Indian government can realize that the world does not take lightly to paths towards genocide. I hope to see corrective measures soon by the Indians, so we can again have the India of tolerance and acceptance that I grew up in,” said Zahir Adil, an Indian American leader of Save India Campaign.
“We call on Americans of all faiths, and Indian-Americans in particular, to ask their lawmakers to ask Sec. of State Pompeo to follow these recommendations. It is in the benefit of all Indian-Americans that India remains the county of freedoms and acceptance that the founding fathers intended,” said Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, President of Justice For All, a human rights advocacy organization.
It is time for the world to pressure India to return to its founding principles of secularism, tolerance, and integration of all faiths towards the progress of the nation. It is also time for the United States to again lead the world in taking a public stance against human rights violations, and championing human rights globally.
Justice for All is a U.S.-based human rights NGO with Consultative Status at the UN. The organization advocates for the global strengthening of human rights.