U.S. envoy calls out COVID-19-related rhetoric in India 

#GS2 #Governance 

Prime Minister Modi’s messages for unity come in for praise 

  • The U.S. envoy for ‘International Religious Freedom’ , Sam Brownback, called out COVID-19 related rhetoric and harassment in India — especially against Muslims. 
  • In India, we’ve seen reports of unfortunate COVID-related rhetoric and harassment, particularly against the Muslim community.  
  • This has been exacerbated by fake news reports, misinformation being shared via social media.  
  • There have also been instances of Muslims being attacked for allegedly spreading the coronavirus. 

USCIRF classification 

  • Taking note of India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register for Citizens, USCIRF had recommended to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that India be classified as a “country of particular concern.” 
  • USCIRF did put them out, as you noted, in that light and that got a lot of interest both here and in India, as you might guess. 
  • We will be putting our report out — Secretary [Pompeo] will put out the report from State Department fairly soon, and then we’ll — that’ll start the time clock on the Secretary’s ultimate determinations on Countries of Particular Concern or watch list countries, and the USCIRF recommendation will be noted and has been noted as well.  

Appeal for asylum 

  • Following a May 25 attack on a gurudwara in Kabul, there have been calls, including from Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna, to grant Afghan Sikhs and Hindus asylum in the U.S. 
  • Sikh and Hindu groups in Afghanistan have also appealed to the Trump administration for asylum, The Wall Street Journal had reported in April. 
  • Following a March 25 attack on a gurudwara in Kabul, there have been calls for granting Afghan Sikhs and Hindus asylum in the U.S., including from Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna of California. 

 

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