U.S. Blacklists Wagner Group Over Religious Freedom

The Biden administration on Friday placed a well-known Russian paramilitary organization on a list of religious freedom violators alongside a number of notorious terrorist organizations, TURAN’s Washingon correspondent reports.


Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced he had designated the Wagner Group as an “entity of particular concern” for its activities in the Central African Republic. Also on the list are Taliban, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and two factions of ISIS.


“Our announcement of these designations is in keeping with our values and interests to protect national security and to advance human rights around the globe,” Blinken noted. “The United States will not stand by in the face of these abuses,” he added.


When it comes to countries, Blinken kept on the blacklist all Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) from 2021 — China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. He also added Cuba and Nicaragua to its CPC list, both of which previously had been on the Department’s Special Watch List (SWL).


As for the current Special Watch List, Blinken placed Algeria, the Central African Republic, Comoros, and Vietnam.


In the meantime, the list stops short, ignoring a recommendation by the autonomous U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom which recommended in its 2022 Annual Report that along with Algeria and CAR, countries such as Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan also be placed on the SWL.


Source: Turan News Agency