The federal panel that displays international non secular freedom mentioned it was “appalled” by the State Division’s Wednesday transfer dropping Nigeria as a “Nation of Explicit Concern” (CPC) on non secular freedom violations.
In a press release released as Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken ready to go to Nigeria on his Africa journey this week, the nation’s prime diplomat labeled Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as CPCs.
He mentioned he additionally positioned Algeria, the Comoros, Cuba and Nicaragua on a “particular watch checklist” of those that both tolerate or have interaction in “extreme violations” of non secular freedom amongst their residents.
Mr. Blinken additionally designated as “Entities of Explicit Concern” a number of Islamist teams: al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Better Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal-Muslimin, and the Taliban, which now governs Afghanistan.
“America is not going to waver in its dedication to advocate for freedom of faith or perception for all and in each nation,” Mr. Blinken mentioned in a press release. “This Administration is dedicated to supporting each particular person’s proper to freedom of faith or perception, together with by confronting and combating violators and abusers of this human proper.”
The U.S. Fee on Worldwide Spiritual Freedom was not so certain about that.
Nadine Maenza, the panel’s chair, launched a press release chastising the company, which is required by statute to yearly checklist violators as CPCs, for the omission of Nigeria this yr.
“Whereas the State Division took steps ahead on some designations, USCIRF is particularly displeased with the elimination of Nigeria from its CPC designation, the place it was rightfully positioned final yr.”
She mentioned the panel had different points with the checklist, particularly citing “the omission of India, Syria, and Vietnam.
“We urge the State Division to rethink its designations primarily based on details offered in its personal reporting,” Ms. Maenza concluded.
Nury Turkel, a Uyghur-American lawyer and human-rights advocate who’s vice chair of the panel, lauded the designation of Russia as a CPC, though he mentioned Mr. Blinken’s company can do extra.
“Russia’s designation for the primary time as a CPC for partaking in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of non secular freedom is welcomed,” Mr. Turkel mentioned in a press release.
“For years, USCIRF has raised the alarm relating to the Russian authorities’s purge of ‘non-traditional’ religions and spiritual freedom repression,” he added.
Mr. Turkel mentioned the fee “additionally applauds” Algeria’s placement on State’s “particular watch checklist” given the North African nation’s “continued enforcement of blasphemy legal guidelines and restrictions on homes of worship for minority non secular communities.”