Support for Ban of US Visa to Modi

USA, December 4, 2012: Twenty-five members of US House of Representatives have urged the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to continue the visa ban on Gujarat’s chief minister Narendra Modi. Signatory to the letter included John Conyers, Trent Franks, James Moran, Michael Honda, Bill Pascrell, Barbara Lee, Edward Markey, Jim Jordan, Dan Burton, Michael Capuano and Dough Lamborn.
Full letter:
The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Clinton:
In March of 2005 and again in June of 2008, a number of us wrote to then – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to raise our deep concern regarding a possible visit of Mr. Narendra Modi, the current chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. The Bush Administration rightly denied Mr. Modi a visa to enter the United States. As Mr. Modi is currently seeking support for a possible bid for prime minister of India, including meetings with leaders of foreign nations, we expect that he may again request entry into the United States. We respectfully request that the U.S. government deny Mr. Modi entry due to numerous reports of his involvement in horrific human rights violations in India.
As you may know, Mr. Modi served as the chief minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots that ultimately resulted in the rape of countless women and children, the destruction of homes and businesses and the loss of 2,000 lives. Non-governmental organizations have alleged that the state government in Gujarat, lead by Chief Minister Modi, provided leadership and material support to the perpetrators of these horrific crimes. After their investigation of violence, Human Rights Watch stated that the “attacks against Muslims (and other religious minorities) in Gujarat have been actively supported by state BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government officials and by the police.”
In the past, the State Department has denied Mr. Modi a visa under the authority of the International Religious Freedom Act for his complicity in the riots. Furthermore, the Department has stated that the Gujarat government has not adequately pursued justice of the victims of the 2002 violence. As there has been no further resolution to these issues and justice has yet to be fully realized for the victims of the riots, we ask that you continue to deny Mr. Modi a visa. As Mr. Modi continues to pursue a potential run for higher office, we believe a change in policy to his request for a visa will only embolden Modi and his government’s efforts to obstruct further investigations and the tandem prosecutions that have still to be finished to bring the perpetrators to justice.
India is a thriving democracy, and one that is aspiring to a high standard of leadership and progress. It is disturbing that certain parties in India are considering elevating Modi, despite his tie to these attacks. Allowing him to enter the United States will only serve to abdicate his responsibility for the 2002 human rights abuses.
Thank you for the consideration of our request. We look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.
Sincerely,
Congressman Joe Pitts and others.