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May 09, 2005

Religious persecution in Eritrea

From the Christian Post:

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) called on the State Department Thursday to engage in vigorous advocacy on religious freedom with the government of Eritrea and draw international attention to religious freedom abuses in Eritrea.

In a policy brief released on May 5, the USCIRF included specific recommendations for U.S. policy, including actions the State Department should take as a consequence of designating Eritrea a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). In February 2004, the Commission publicly recommended for the first time that Eritrea be designated as a CPC. The State Department subsequently acted on that recommendation, designating Eritrea as a CPC on September 15, 2004.

“Although the 180-day deadline has passed to take action under IRFA, the State Department has yet to announce what policy steps it is going to take,” said USCIRF Chair Preeta D. Bansal in a statement released on Thursday announcing the new policy brief. “The Commission calls on the State Department to take action and has made some specific recommendations in that regard.”

The Commission said it found that the government of Eritrea was engaged in systematic and egregious violations of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief.

“The government of Eritrea has banned public religious activities by all religious groups that are not officially recognized, closed their places of worship, and inordinately delayed action on registration applications by religious groups,” the USCIRF said in the May 5 statement. “To suppress the religious activities of the unregistered groups, Eritrean security forces have disrupted private worship, have conducted mass arrests of participants at prayer meetings and other gatherings, and have detained those arrested without charge for indefinite periods of time.”

The United Nations' Commission on Human Rights would offer its own protest, but Eritrea is a member of that commission. And for some unexplained reason, the United States has decided to dirty itself by also being a member of such a cruel and sick joke.

Posted by Danny Carlton at May 9, 2005 09:04 AM

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