WASHINGTON: Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey is on an annual list of countries that names the worst violators of religious freedom. The list is expanded to include two new countries – Iraq and Nigeria – announced a U.S. government body on Friday.
This year, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended to the Obama administration a total of 13 countries that it should designate as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs).
Included in this year’s report, which covers the period from May 2008 through April, are: Burma, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
On the commission’s Watch List, meanwhile, are Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Venezuela.
Iraq was added in December because of the ongoing, severe abuses against minorities and the government’s tolerance of the violence, particularly against Iraq’s “smallest and most vulnerable” religious minorities, including Chaldo Assyrians and other Christian groups.
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