Department of State Human Rights Reports: The Resource That Washington Ignores

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Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to how the 2013 Human Rights Reports were the foundation of U.S. foreign policy and a statement to the world that the U.S. is watching to make sure that foreign governments protect the human rights of their citizens (Photo Credit: Mladen  Antonov/AFP/Getty Images).

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to how the 2013 Human Rights Reports is the foundation of U.S. foreign policy and a statement to the world that the U.S. is watching to make sure foreign governments protect the human rights of their citizens (Photo Credit: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images).

At long last, the 2013 country reports documenting global human rights trends has been released by the U.S. Department of State.

This year’s report, which was first produced during the Carter administration, is as important for what it does not say – or perhaps how it says it – as it is for what it says. In looking back at events in 2012, the report highlights several alarming trends, first what can only be described as a growing assault on civil society and human rights defenders.

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A Full Investigation of Horrific Attacks

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News regarding a wave of attacks on Armenian women in Istanbul only slowly filtered out of the Armenian press in Turkey. The Turkish press initially gave the cases little attention.  Meanwhile, Turkish officialdom has consistently maintained that these are no hate crimes but simple robberies or, according to some, “possible provocation.”

It is certainly possible that these crimes are, in fact, simply aimed at robbery. Istanbul is, after all, a huge, cosmopolitan city, with all the pleasures and dangers that a big city can offer.

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