US to stand by persecuted minorities: Ambassador-at-Large


USA is aware of human rights violations and is trying to stand by the minorities who are persecuted around the world, said Rashad Hussain, US ambassador-at-Large for international religious freedom, reports UNB.

He said this during a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Unity Council in the capital on Sunday. US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas was also present at the meeting.

At the meeting, regarding the current situation of religious freedom in Bangladesh, Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Unity Council, told the envoy, “Growing communalism and fundamentalist activities had thrown Bangladesh's religious minorities and indigenous peoples into an existential crisis.”

“The upcoming election situation is also very concerning for them,” he added.

Ambassador Hussain said he and his family moved to the United States from Bihar of India.

“I was able to come here today, nominated by the President of the United States because the Constitution guarantees equal rights and opportunities for all citizens of that country (USA),” Hussain said.

A fundamental purpose of the American constitution is to ensure the rights of minorities, he added.

Hussain said that changes in the psychological issues of society are not only the responsibility of the government but also the civil society, urging all to come forward in this regard.

He also mentioned the persecution of Muslims in China and the Rohingya in Myanmar.

Hussain assured that the United States will continue to work for the development of democracy and secularism in the world.

Rashad Hussain arrived here on Sunday on a four-day visit to hold a series of meetings with Bangladesh officials. He is scheduled to meet state minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam at his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 20 April.

He serves as principal advisor to the secretary of state and advisor to the president on religious freedom conditions and policy, according to the US Department of State. Hussain leads the department's efforts to monitor religious freedom abuses, persecution, and discrimination worldwide.

He also oversees policies and programmes to address these concerns and works to build diverse and dynamic partnerships with the broadest range of civil society, with equitable and meaningful inclusion of faith actors globally.