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USCIRF plans hearing on religious freedom issues in India

The US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has revealed its plans to conduct a hearing focused on religious freedom matters in India in the upcoming week. This announcement comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful visits to the United States, including his official state visit in June and a bilateral meeting in New Delhi in September. USCIRF stated that the congressional hearing will explore potential ways for the US government to collaborate with the Indian government in addressing religious freedom violations.

The hearing will feature testimony from Fernand de Varennes, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, along with Tariq Ahmed from the Law Library of Congress, Sarah Yager from Human Rights Watch, Sunita Viswanath, the executive director of Hindus for Human Rights, and Irfan Nooruddin, a professor of Indian Politics at Georgetown University. While Modi’s visits underscore the close relationship between the US and India, USCIRF points out that in the past decade, the Indian government has implemented discriminatory policies targeting religious minorities, including anti-conversion laws, restrictions on cow slaughter, religious-based citizenship preferences, and limitations on foreign funding for civil society organizations. Recent incidents, such as violence between Hindus and Muslims in Haryana and attacks on Christian and Jewish minorities in Manipur, emphasize the need for new strategies to address violence against religious minorities in India.


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