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State Department Reports: Repression of Religious Minorities Part of Disturbing Trend in 2010 E-mail
Written by Don Byrd   
Monday, 11 April 2011

On Friday, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton released the 2010 reports on human rights in countries around the world, and unveiled a new website, humanrights.gov. In remarks to the press, she emphasized three "disturbing" trends of the last year in the area of human rights.

The first is a widespread crackdown on civil society activists. For countries to progress toward truly democratic governance, they need free and vibrant civil societies that can help governments understand and meet the needs of their people....
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Beyond a widespread crackdown on civil society activists, we saw a second trend in 2010 – countries violating the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, and association by curtailing internet freedom. More than 40 governments now restrict the internet through various means....
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The third disturbing trend of 2010 was the repression of vulnerable minorities, including racial and ethnic and religious minorities along with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. In Pakistan, for example, blasphemy remains a crime punishable by death. And the blasphemy law has been enforced against Muslims who do not share the beliefs of other Muslims, and also against non-Muslims who worship differently.