India on US watch list for threats to religious freedom

By TCN News,

Patna: India has been put on a US watch list for threats to religious freedom and religious minorities in the country. India is among 12 countries including Afghanistan, Indonesia and Russia that have been put on watch list of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a bipartisan US panel on global religious freedom.

This is second consecutive year that India has been put on the watch list. The report of USCIRF for 2010 will be published this evening. In the 2009 report India was criticized for violence against Christians and Muslims as well as slow process of justice to the Gujarat riots victims.

Though the recommendations of USCIRF are not binding on the US government, the panel recommends the government for some measures in bilateral dealings to protect religious freedom.

In November 2009, USCIRF reportedly wrote to US President Barack Obama, urging him to raise religious freedom concerns during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

Other countries on the watch list are Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Laos, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Venezuela.