US re-designates Pakistan, China as countries curbing religious freedom

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 21, 2019, 11.42 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Nine countries remain on the list and they can be sanctioned by the US government if they do not protect religious freedoms better.

The Trump Administration on Friday designated Pakistan and China as countries of particular concern for having engaged in "systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom." 

The United States releases a list of countries with a dubious record on religious freedoms every year.

Nine countries remain on the list and they can be sanctioned by the US government if they do not protect religious freedoms better.

And that's exactly what China and Pakistan have been accused of.

In 2018, Pakistan was designated after a lot of international pressure.

Blasphemy laws, for example, are extremely stringent in Pakistan.The punishment for blasphemy can range from small fines to even the death penalty.

And as of late, there has been a sharp rise in the number of forced conversions. Especially in the Sindh province.

Minorities like the Ahmadiyyas, the Balochs and Sindhis face systemic persecution in the country. There are regular reports of disappearances and discrimination against them.

Joining Pakistan in the list is China. Beijing's atrocities in Xinjiang have been garnering international attention. Especially over the last year.

Estimates suggest that close to 1 million Uighur Muslims have been illegally detained in internment camps by china.

Recent leaks from the Communist Party have given more credibility to what has essentially been known to the international community for a long time.