U.S. keeps Cuba and Nicaragua on religious freedom blacklist

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By LatAm Reports Editor

The U.S. government again included Cuba and Nicaragua, among other countries such as Russia and China, on its blacklist on religious freedom, according to a statement released Thursday.

Burma, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are also on the blacklist last year.

Governments in these countries have – particularly serious violations of religious freedom have participated or tolerated, in Washington’s view.

The State Department made a second list with the countries – on observation, in which Algeria, Vietnam, the Comoros, the Central African Republic and Azerbaijan are again.

The United States also blacklisted several groups that have territorial control, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Houts in Yemen, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Levant’s Organization for the Liberation of the Syrians or several Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliates in Africa.

Unlike last year, the Wagner Group, which since the death of its leader Yevgueni Prigozhin has been integrated into the Russian Armed Forces, left the list.

In its statement, Washington said that the Governments on the list must put an end to abuses such as attacks on members of minority religious communities and their places of worship, community violence and prolonged imprisonment for peaceful expression.

The challenges to religious freedom around the world are structural, systemic and deeply rooted,” he added.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Tribuna