Thursday, April 29, 2010

USCIRF Again Designates Turkey a "Country of Particular Concern"

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has released its 2010 annual report on the state of religious freedom in countries throughout the world and Turkey has again been named a "Country of Particular Concern." Since the file on the USCIRF website appears to be somehow damaged, below are excerpts of reportage from Today's Zaman:
Turkey remains on the watch list this year also. It was designated for close monitoring for the first time in 2009. The fact that very little has changed in terms of restrictions imposed on people has resulted in it retaining its status as a violator country in the view of the USCIRF.

In addition to these 13 countries, designated the worst violators of religious freedoms around the world, the 2010 watch list includes Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, Tajikistan and Venezuela as well as Turkey with respect to “the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the governments.” The panel’s report also criticized the current and former US administrations for doing little to make basic religious rights universal.

The commission was founded in 1998 by an act of Congress and has investigated conditions in what it calls “hot spots” where religious freedom is endangered.
Much of the USCIRF report will echo the U.S. Department of State's country report on international religious freedom in Turkey.

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