US State Dept. publishes International Religious Freedom Report; Tillerson highlights ISIS genocide
August 17, 2017
The US State Department cited the Islamic State as for genocide in its annual report on religious freedom around the world.
The report offered critical comments on the practices of many countries, including American allies such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia. But in introducing the report, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reserved his strongest criticism for the Islamic State:
ISIS is clearly responsible for genocide against Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims in areas it controlled. ISIS is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups, and in some cases against Sunni Muslims, Kurds, and other minorities.
The State Department report noted that in Saudi Arabia, non-Muslims are not free to practice their faith. In Iran, the report said, “20 individuals were executed in 2016 on charges that included, quote, ‘waging war against God.’“ A spokesman for the government of Iran complained that the American report was “unrealistic, unfounds, an biased.”
The extensive country-by-country report offers criticism of religious-freedom policies in Russia and particularly in China, saying that the latter country “imprisons thousands for practicing their religious beliefs.”
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