US commission names 13 ‘egregious’ violators of religious freedom
May 05, 2009
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom on May 1 recommended that President Barack Obama designate 13 nations “countries of particular concern” because of their “egregious violations” of religious freedom. These 13 nations are Burma, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. With the exception of Nigeria, this list is identical to the previous year’s list.
In addition, the commission placed Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Venezuela on its watch list. “While not rising to the statutory level … requiring designation as a country of particular concern, these countries require close monitoring due to the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the governments,” the commission noted.
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