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NEW DELHI (HRNW) – India has turned down a travel request for members of a U.S. government panel seeking to review its religious freedom, saying such foreign agencies had no standing to assess the constitutional rights of citizens.
Since taking power in 2014, the Indian government has faced criticism for attacks on Muslims and the panel has called for the world’s biggest democracy to be designated a “country of particular concern”, along with China, Iran, Russia and Syria.
The call by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) was made in an April report urging sanctions against officials of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government after it excluded minority Muslims from a new citizenship law.
Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said the government firmly repudiated the surveys of the commission, which had little knowledge of the rights of Indian citizens, describing it as biased and prejudiced.