Is the Biden Administration Ignoring and Enabling Human Rights Abuses Committed by India?
December 5, 2021
Cited article by Sunita Viswanath, Peter Cook, and Rasheed Ahmed, Al Jazeera Opinion
The Biden administration released a statement on November 17th listing 10 countries on the United States' official list of worst offenders of religious freedoms. Questions arose as to why India was omitted from that list given the ever-increasing anti-Muslim attacks and restrictions placed on them by the Indian government. These questions are further supported by a bi-partisan federal commission, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which has recommended that India be included as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) alongside 13 other countries.
It is speculated that the U.S. is hesitant to endanger the close security relationship with India. The Department of State indicated that the U.S. is raising the human rights concerns privately with India. However, publicly U.S. representatives state that both the U.S. and India are committed towards democratic values. Yet the research organization, Freedom House, notes the continuing decline in India's democratic values. This decline is even highlighted by the U.S. Department of State in respect to the upcoming Summit for Democracy, stating that India's actions are contradictory to key aspects of the Summit.
HRRC is committed to promoting and defending human rights, while also holding accountable those violating human rights. The U.S. should maintain an unbiased stance when it comes to countries committing such abuses, even in spite of existing security relationships. If the U.S. ignores these issues, it enables the continuing of violations in India and other countries where human rights are at risk.