WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 18, 2013) — U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) on Monday introduced a new resolution calling on India to protect the rights and freedoms of religious minorities in their nation.
The bipartisan resolution recognizes the suffering of victims of religious violence in India and calls for specific actions to be taken by the both the Indian government and the U.S. State Department.
“This resolution’s strong bipartisan support shows that the rights of religious minorities in India are a priority for the U.S. Congress,” said Ellison. “All Indians should have the right to practice their faith freely, or to change their faith if they so choose. India is big enough for all its citizens. Its best leaders have worked to promote unity among its diverse populations, not division.”
“The victims of events like the riots in Gujarat demand justice,” said Pitts. “The Indian government cannot expect to make greater strides on religious freedom and human rights in the future while countless thousands have not seen justice for their lost loved ones. Right now, millions of Indians face threats like harassment, displacement and outright persecution due to communal and religious violence. India is a land of unrivaled religious diversity, but with such diversity comes great responsibility in ensuring the rights of religious minorities.”
The resolution calls on the State Department to continue the policy of denying Indian politician Narendra Modi a visa for entry into the United States. It further urges India to increase training on human rights and religious freedom standards and practices, and calls for religious freedom and human rights to be included in the United States – India Strategic Dialogue.
Complete text of the resolution is available at http://goo.gl/wQORPf.