Misrepresentation has reached new level: India slams ‘biased’ USCIRF report on religious freedom

Calling the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) as an ‘organisation of particular concern’, India on Tuesday slammed the US government body for its “biased and tendentious” comment against New Delhi in its annual reports.

In a statement hours after the launch of the USCIRF’s International Religious Freedom report, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava, said the commission “misrepresentation” has reached new levels.

“We reject the observations on India in the USCIRF Annual Report. Its biased and tendentious comments against India are not new. But on this occasion, its misrepresentation has reached new levels. It has not been able to carry its own Commissioners in its endeavor. We regard it as an organization of particular concern and will treat it accordingly,” the statement said.

In its 2020 report, the commission suggested US State department designate India as an additional Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for “engaging in and tolerating systematic ongoing and egregious religious freedom violations”.

The USCIRF in a tweet said: “This is the first time since 2004 that USCIRF recommends India as a Country of Particular Concern.”

The USCIRF launched the International Religious Freedom Report, its 21st annual report, detailing the violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief in 29 countries.

The 2020 report recommends the U.S. State Department to redesign Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs). It further recommends designating India, Nigeria, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam as additional CPCs.

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