The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has just released its 2020 Annual Report detailing the situation with religious freedom around the world.

The report reports on countries designated by the State Department as Countries of Particular Concern (“for countries that engage in or tolerate particularly severe religious freedom violations”) and those appearing on the Special Watch List (” for engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom”).

Sudan was downgraded following the overthrow of the Islamist regime of Omar al-Bashir by the military on 11 April 2019. The country is currently being ruled by a 11-person Sovereignty Council, acting as a collective Head of State, until the presidential election scheduled for November 2022.

Although there have been improvements in Uzbekistan, the Commission still noted concern about the use of torture in Uzbek jails:

Throughout 2019, the government by and large successfully enforced a ban on law enforcement authorities raiding and harassing religious communities, and in August announced the closure of the notorious Jasliq Prison […] Many religious prisoners subjected to multiple arbitrary extensions of their prison terms under the previous government continued to serve those sentences, and claimed to have experienced torture, which remains widespread and routine.

The countries designated as being of “Particular Concern” were Burma, China, Eritrea, India, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.

Read the full report here. 

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