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Newsline: Indian Embassy Lashes Out at US Agency on Religious Freedom

Indian embassy tore into the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) after the Commission issued a statement saying they were denied visas to visit India to assess religious freedom in the country. The Indian embassy in Washington, in a statement, said that the US body had no locus standi to comment on the state of Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights. “We do not see the locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pass its judgment and comment on the state of Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights,” the embassy said. The Indian embassy said there was no change in the policy of the Government of India with respect to such visits. Earlier, a statement from the Commission had said that the goal of the trip, scheduled for Friday, had been to discuss and assess religious freedom conditions in India. Robert P George, chairman of the USCIRF, said members were deeply disappointed by the Indian government’s denial, in effect, of visas. “USCIRF has been able to travel to many countries, including those that are among the worst offenders of religious freedom, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China, and Burma. One would expect that the Indian government would allow for more transparency than have these nations,” George said.



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