On Tuesday, August 15, US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson gave statements on the release of 2016 International Religious Freedom Annual Report.
While highlighting that ‘almost 80 percent of the global population lives with restrictions on or hostilities to limit their freedom of religion’, Tillerson also mentioned Iran, Bahrain, China, Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, as well as, Turkey, to express concern over widespread violations of right to religious belief and practice.
“In Turkey, authorities continued to limit the human rights of members of some religious minority groups, and some communities continue to experience protracted property disputes. Non-Sunni Muslims, such as Alevi Muslims, do not receive the same governmental protections as those enjoyed by recognized non-Muslim minorities and have faced discrimination and violence. Additionally, the United States continues to advocate for the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey”, Tillerson said.