As of February 21, citizens of Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria will no longer be eligible for immigrant visas to the US, the White House announced on Friday afternoon.
Citizens from Sudan and Tanzania will also not be eligible to enter the DV lottery program to apply for immigrant visas.
The decision by Donald Trump’s administration has been widely decried by advocacy and rights groups as an extension of an earlier so-called “Muslim ban”, under which citizens of several Muslim-majority countries were barred from entering the country.
The Trump administration justified the extended ban by saying the countries added to the list did not meet specific security criteria, such as proper identification of US visa applicants, or failed to share information with the US.
But advocates say the restrictions are the latest step in the Trump administration’s plan to keep Muslims and other radicalized people out of the US.
Meanwhile in India, two days after a teenager shot a protester in the Indian capital, on February 1 another firing was reported at an all-women sit-in site in the city against a controversial new citizenship law.
Police said no protester was wounded after a man fired a gun at New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, the epicenter of nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which critics say violates India’s secular constitution and is anti-Muslim.
Mobile videos shot after the arrest of the suspect, identified by the police as Kapil Gujjar, showed him shouting: “Only Hindus will prevail in this country. This country is ours.”
A similar incident happened on Thursday when a 17-year-old attacker fired at a protest rally outside New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University as police officers stood behind him.
Thursday’s shooting, which took place barely two kilometres from Shaheen Bagh, wounded a JMI student from Indian-administered Kashmir.
The shootings have taken place in quick succession after controversial slogans of “Goli Maaro Sa***n Ko (shoot the traitors)” were chanted on Monday at a Delhi campaign rally of Anurag Thakur, the Union Minister of State for Finance, who was part of the team involved in Budget 2020 announced on Saturday.
Atrocities against Muslims in China and genocide in Myanmar have also attracted global attention. Chinese premier Xi Jinping and Myanmar defacto leader Aung San Suu Kyi have intermittently denied the existence of “ethnic cleansing” in their respective countries.
The United Nations and human rights groups estimate between 1 million and 2 million people, mostly ethnic Uighur Muslims, have been detained in harsh conditions as part of what Beijing calls an anti-terrorism campaign.
China has repeatedly denied any mistreatment of Uighurs and says the camps provide vocational training. It describes the detainees as students.
Similarly, more than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after a military-led crackdown in 2017, and were forced into squalid camps across the border in Bangladesh. UN investigators concluded that the military campaign had been executed with “genocidal intent”.
Bangladesh has not recognized the vast majority of the refugees and does not issue birth certificates for those born in the camps, making their legal status unclear.
Last year it expelled scores of them from local schools, saying they were using fake Bangladeshi identity cards.
As countries with powerful allies and popularity continue to ignite the inferno of xenophobia under various disguises, their leaders are rarely held accountable.