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U.S. State Department Releases Annual Human Rights Review

The U.S. State Department on Thursday released its annual review on the state of human rights around the world, the Associated Press reports. The 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which includes an assessment of 194 countries, “described abuses in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe,” according to the news service (Klug, 3/11).

“These reports are an essential tool – for activists who courageously struggle to protect rights in communities around the world; for journalists and scholars who document rights violations and who report on the work of those who champion the vulnerable; and for governments, including our own, as they work to craft strategies to encourage protection of human rights of more individuals in more places,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said during a press briefing Thursday.

“The reports released today are a record of where we are. They provide a fact base that will inform the United States’ diplomatic, economic and strategic policies toward other countries in the coming year,” Clinton said (3/11).

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