The annual Hindu human rights report was released by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) earlier today.
The 194 page report, now in its sixth year, entitled “Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora, A Survey of Human Rights 2009,” is the only such report released internationally. Censuring eleven countries for either targeting Hindus to further religious and political agendas or failing to ensure equal rights and protections, the report is widely read by government officials and lawmakers here and earned spirited responses and denials from the American embassies of several countries indicted in the past.
“This annual report documents human rights violations of Hindus throughout South Asia and in countries that do not share values of democracy, pluralism and freedom,” said U.S. Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) after reviewing the Foundation’s report. “By spotlighting which nations do not live up to these standards, nonprofit organizations like HAF stand up for the basic dignity and human rights for all people of faith and for free thought.”
“Our effort started with the belief that Hindu minorities were silent and unknown victims in Bangladesh, Pakistan and elsewhere, and documenting their realities has grown into a full time endeavor,” said Ramesh Rao, Ph.D., the Foundation’s human rights researcher and coordinator.”This year, the arrival of thousands of Hindu refugees from Bhutan brings a human face to the issues too many encounter simply because of their ethnicity and Hindu faith.”