The State Department has introduced a new risk indicator, the “D” indicator, to its travel advisories to inform U.S. travelers of the risk of wrongful detention by a foreign government.
“D” indicator is the most serious Travel Advisory level of 4, which means “Do Not Travel.”
Announcing this in a video address, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Americans to check the travel advisories before heading to other nations.
At a news conference Tuesday, a senior administration official said, “We’re making this change to highlight the elevated risk of wrongful detention in particular countries whose governments have engaged in that practice.”
And on Day One of its introduction, the State Department added six countries to that travel advisory category. They are Myanmar, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela.
Travel Advisory for these nations were reissued Tuesday with updates to wrongful detention information.
The latest Travel Advisory for Russia urges U.S. citizens to leave the country immediately. “Do not travel to Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of U.S. citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials including for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19-related restrictions, and terrorism,” it adds.
Travel Advisory for Iran says, “Do not travel to Iran due to the risk of kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. Exercise increased caution due to wrongful detentions”.
U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Iran have been kidnapped, arrested, and detained on spurious charges, it noted. The State Department has determined that at least one U.S. national is wrongfully detained by the Iranian government.
The State Department issues travel advisories for every country around the world offering standardized levels of advice based on established risk factors. The advisories are based on the risk factors SUCH AS crime, for which a “C” indicator is used; health, for which an “H” indicator is used; and or kidnapping or hostage taking, for which “K” indicator is used.
State Department Travel Advisories are continuously revised and updated based on a comprehensive review of all available safety information and ongoing developments.
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