Hindus in South Asia, and many of the twenty million Hindus living outside of India, are subject to discrimination, terror, murder, sexual violence, forced conversions, ethnic cleansing, temple destruction, socio-political ostracization, and economic and political marginalization.
Explore more: State of the Hindus in 8 countries
The human rights of Hindu citizens are consistently violated in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bhutan, the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Saudi Arabia, and Trinidad and Tobago. This report documents the ongoing violations of human rights in these countries.
HAF's latest report marked a departure from previous years' reports and featured a new format, categorizing countries based on the extent of their human rights violations, while including expanded coverage of Hindu refugee populations from Bhutan and Pakistan.
"All they want is peace," said Samir Kalra, Esq., the Hindu American Foundation (HAF)'s Director and Senior Fellow for Human Rights, while describing his conversations with Pakistani Hindu refugees at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 2013.
Kalra was joined at the briefing by Professor Ved Nanda, a world-renowned expert on international law and the Thompson G. Marsh Professor of Law at the University of Denver, and Professor Sachi Dastidar, distinguished Service Professor in the Politics, Economics and Law Department at State University of New York, Old Westbury and an expert on the plight of Hindu and other non-Muslim minorities in Bangladesh. During his talk, Professor Nanda noted the growing importance of human rights within the international legal framework and praised HAF for its commitment to consistently raising these issues with U.S. policy makers. Similarly, Professor Dastidar provided an overview of violence against minorities in Bangladesh and the country's slide from secular democracy to one with increasing extremism and intolerance.
In addition to Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Malaysia, and Pakistan garnered the greatest censure from the Foundation and were labeled as Egregious Violators for engaging in or allowing rampant and systematic violations to take place against their minority Hindu populations.
Other countries or regions covered in the report included Bhutan, the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and Sri Lanka, which were labeled as Countries of Serious Concern for committing severe human rights violations against their Hindu minority, but not rising to the level of Egregious Violators. And the last category, Monitored Countries, encompassed those nations with a history of violations against the Hindu community, such as Fiji and Trinidad and Tobago, but where conditions had improved in recent years. The one exception was Saudi Arabia, which only has a small population of Hindu migrant workers and lacks available data on violations against Hindus to appropriately assess the situation.
The Foundation also featured its new documentary film on Pakistani Hindu refugees at the press briefing, entitled "Victims of History: The Untold Story of Pakistani Hindus in India."Executive Summary: Download the PDF here