28 February 2020 - 12:14
News ID: 449322
A
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) condemned President Donald Trump’s response to riots in New Delhi targeting India’s Muslim minority that occurred during the US president’s visit to the country.

RNA - Tens of people have died amid the unrest, which began over protests against a law making it easier for non-Muslims from neighboring countries to obtain Indian citizenship, The Hill reported.

Trump sidestepped questions about the riots during a press conference Tuesday, while defending India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s record on religious freedom broadly.

“The prime minister was incredible in what he told me. He wants people to have religious freedom, and very strongly,” Trump told reporters, adding that he had “heard about” the violence but that it was “up to India” to handle.

Sanders on Wednesday blasted Trump for his response. 

“Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more,” Sanders tweeted Wednesday, saying, “Trump responds by saying, ‘That's up to India’. This is a failure of leadership on human rights.”

Modi, leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, called for calm Wednesday, tweeting, “Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times.”

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has expressed serious concerns about the violence, with USCIRF Chairman Tony Perkins, a conservative Christian and vocal Trump ally, saying, “One of the essential duties of any responsible government is to provide protection & physical security for its citizens, regardless of faith. We urge the Indian government to take serious efforts to protect Muslims & others targeted by mob violence.”

“These incidents are even more concerning in the context of efforts within India to target and potentially disenfranchise Muslims across the country, in clear violation of international human rights standards,” USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava stated on Wednesday.

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