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U.S. Delegation at United Nations Condemns Religious Discrimination

Racial, religious and ethnic discrimination, whether by law or by practice, were roundly condemned today by the United States delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. The attack on these forms of discrimination was delivered in the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee by the American delegation’s representative, Harold Riegelman, who spoke in the committee’s debate on the policy of “apartheid” or complete racial segregation in the Union of South Africa.

In the course of his address, however, and in a preceding press conference, Mr. Riegelman made it clear that the United States condemnation of bias applied not only to South Africa but also to “powerful nations under authoritarian government” whom he accused of denying “human rights and fundamental freedoms contemplated by the United Nations Charter.” Mr. Riegelman, without naming the Soviet Union, clearly implied that in the context of “authoritarian governments,” he was referring to conditions in the Soviet bloc.

The U.S. delegate, who in his private capacity is active in the leadership of the American Jewish Committee, said at his press conference that the Washington delegation “condemns” all discriminations against peoples, “particularly when they have government sanction.” However, when he was asked how the delegation views racial and religious bias in countries where the constitution forbids such practices, he replied: “We condemn both, with rough equality.”