U.S. Department of State: 2004 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices   [open html - 0B]

"The 'Country Reports on Human Rights Practices' provide a key framework that the United States and others around the world use in assessing the state of human freedom and in marshalling efforts to advance it. The conscientious compiling of these reports equips us to more effectively stand against oppression and for human dignity and liberty. Our embassies and Washington staff work closely with local citizens, human rights and other organizations, and community leaders to identify, investigate, and verify information. These volumes, available in the languages of most of the world's peoples, foster discussion, promote advocacy, permit the measurement of progress, and show where improvements are needed. Over the last 12 months, we have worked closely with the international community to enable citizens in countries such as Guatemala, Indonesia, Ghana, Ukraine, and Afghanistan to make their votes truly count in selecting their governments. This fundamental right to effective suffrage opens the door for advancing a wide range of other rights, as the records in these countries have already begun to show. This 28th edition of our 'Country Reports' turns our spotlight on 196 countries, ranging from the stoutest defenders to the worst violators of human dignity. We take seriously our responsibility to report as accurately, as sensitively, and as carefully as possible the information in these reports."

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