US: religious freedom blacklist submitted to Congress

List includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, North Korea; Tajikistan makes list for first time

US: religious freedom blacklist submitted to Congress

World Bulletin / News Desk

The State Department has notified Congress about the designation of “countries of particular concern” in terms of religious freedom, spokesman John Kiby said Friday.

The list prepared under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRF) includes Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and, for the first time, Tajikistan.

The administration applies certain presidential actions against the countries of particular concern which might cause suspension of U.S. military aid or visa restrictions, as well as additional restrictions with respect to non-military aid to those countries.

“In accordance with the IRF Act, presidential actions for Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan have been implemented,” Kirby said. “We have waived application of presidential actions with respect to Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.”

The spokesman described the decision to waive actions against those countries as required for “important national interest of the United States.”

He did not specify which countries would be exposed to certain measures, noting that the federal register which will be soon made public “will list what measures are being taken with respect to each one.”

He added that the measures against the countries that were on the list in previous years are already in place. But, he noted, “this is another layer of validity to our concerns over that particular country.”

Last Mod: 16 Nisan 2016, 09:33
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