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Unsurprisingly, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he singled out countries such as Russia, China and Iran for supposedly tolerating or engaging in violations of religious freedom.
"Each year, the Secretary of State is responsible for identifying governments and non-state actors that, because of their violations of religious freedom, merit designation under the International Religious Freedom Act. I am designating Burma, the People's Republic of China, Eritrea, Iran, the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as countries of particular concern for having committed or tolerated 'systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom,'" the official said.
Algeria, Comoros, Cuba and Nicaragua were also placed on a special watch list for alleged "serious violations of religious freedom," Blinken said.
"The U.S. will not waiver in its commitment to defend freedom of religion or belief for all people in all countries," Blinken continued.
We support open and just societies, in which all can enjoy freedom of religion or belief. Today’s designations shine a light on governments that violate religious freedom and require urgent attention & action. https://t.co/bwedH6YyEn
Despite saying that "Washington also remains committed to working with governments, civil society and members of religious communities to promote religious freedom," Blinken ignored the hate crimes and state violence against religious groups in the United States, particularly Muslims, and ignored the report's blatant politicization of human rights to justify further aggression and sanctions against the historic adversaries of the U.S.
Groups such as Boko Haram, ISIS and the Houthis were similarly listed as Entities of Particular Concern in the State Department report.