State Dept Publishes 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights


Yesterday, the U.S. State Department published their 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. These reports are submitted each year to Congress and are intended to inform U.S. government policy and foreign assistance. Reporting on conditions in nearly 200 countries and territories, the reports draw attention to the growing challenges facing individuals and organizations as governments around the world fall short of their obligation to uphold universal human rights. Key human rights developments around the world in 2013 include restrictions on freedom of speech and press freedom, continued marginalization of vulnerable groups, and increased crackdown on civil society and freedoms of assembly and association in countries including Syria, Russia, Cuba, Egypt, China, Ukraine, and South Sudan. The country report on Iran cites “severe restrictions on the freedoms of assembly, association, and religion,” and notes that members of religious minority groups often had their property seized, were tortured in detention, and faced general harassment and degradation.

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