Iraq listed as site of imperiled religious freedom

"Alarming and deteriorating situation"
Iraq has been added to a “watch list” of countries requiring “close monitoring” of violation of religious freedoms, reports an independently run monitoring group established by the U.S. government.

The decision by the Commission on International Religious Freedom to add Iraq to the list is due to the “alarming and deteriorating situation for freedom of religion and belief” within the war-torn nation, the panel said in its annual report released May 2. Iraq joins a watch list that includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Nigeria and Indonesia.

The report noted what it called the “growing scope and severity of human rights abuses” within Iraq. It said that nonstate actors, particularly a Sunni-dominated insurgency, “are responsible for a substantial proportion of the sectarian violence and associated human rights violations.”


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