|US Congressman Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania urges entry ban on Narendra Modi|
Lawmaker details Modi's human rights abuses in his letter to Secretary Rice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2008
The Coalition Against Genocide added one more congressman to its growing list of supporters for a visa ban on the genocide tainted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Congressman Joe Sestak, a democrat from Pennsylvania, outlined the complicity of Modi's administration in the religious persecution of minorities: "Numerous inquiries by Indian officials and non-governmental organizations have determined that the state government in Gujarat, led by Chief Minister Modi, provided leadership and material support for the rape and murder of women and young children, and the destruction of homes, business and resources primarily belong to Indian Muslims".
The letter went on to detail the broad spectrum of human rights abuses ongoing in Gujarat: "Mr. Modi ordered a census, ruled illegal by the Gujarat High Court, of the Christian community خيخٌ the same action he took prior to the orchestrated attacks on Muslims in 2002." And "Under his leadership, the state of Gujarat passed an anti-conversion law in strong violation of the Indian Constitution and international human rights norms to which India is a party"
Congressman Sestak urged Secretary Rice: "I am deeply concerned that a visit to the United States by Chief Minister Modi is in violation of the International Religious Freedom Act and will provide tacit approval of his reprehensible statements, policies and actions that violate the core of the human rights upon which our nation is founded, I respectfully request your leadership in publicly condemning his actions and policies by once again denying Chief Minister Narendra Modi the right to enter this country."
In another snub highlighting Modi's isolation on the stage of international politics, the Gujarat Chief Minister"s name has been dropped from the list of invitees at the World Economic Forum being held in Tianjin, China this September. Modi's Principal Secretary had earlier confirmed to newspapers that the Chief Minister had received an invite from WEF.
Amidst reports of a lobbying effort by his supporters to get his visa reinstated, Modi has been invited to attend a conference in New York on August 29-31st 2008.
Since the reports of Modi's invitation surfaced in the press, the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) has launched a campaign to have the State Department publicly reaffirm its past decision of not granting a visa to Modi. Following the CAG campaign, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) as well as the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) weighed in with the State Department on continuing the entry ban on Modi.
The Coalition Against Genocide includes a diverse spectrum of organizations and individuals in the United States and Canada that have come together in response to the Gujarat genocide to demand accountability and justice.
Dr. Hyder Khan
Dr. Hari Sharma