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ICC Note:

In his remarks introducing the State Department’s annual report on religious freedom, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that ISIS committed genocide against religious minorities in Iraq. Many human rights activists and US government leaders had criticized the Secretary of State for not declaring ISIS’ acts as a genocide. In addition to Iraq, the report condemns allies and enemies alike for religious violations including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey, Iran, and China among others.        

08/16/2017 Iraq (Reuters) – U.S. allies including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain did not uphold principles of religious freedom in 2016, while Islamic State has carried out “genocide” against religious minorities, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.

Tillerson made the comments at the State Department while introducing the agency’s annual report on religious freedom, required by a 1998 act of Congress. The report is the first to be released during the Trump administration and covers 2016.

Saudi Arabia, Tillerson said, ought to “embrace greater degrees of religious freedom for all of its citizens.” He cited criminal penalties for apostasy, atheism, blasphemy, and insulting the Saudi state’s interpretation of Islam, as well as attacks and discrimination targeting Shi’ite Muslims.

The kingdom follows the strict Sunni Muslim Wahhabi school of Islam.

 

 

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