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US cites global governance crisis for declining human rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States says human rights protections around the world declined last year — the result of crackdowns by oppressive governments and abuses by violent extremists.

That’s the conclusion of the State Department’s latest annual report on human rights.

The report says countries pushed back with “increasing vigor and viciousness” in 2015 against civil society groups that work to empower citizens and fight corruption.

The department cites countries often singled out — North Korea, China, Cuba, Sudan and Iran.

Also noted for what the U.S. is calling repressive steps are Russia, Rwanda, Congo, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Uganda, Egypt and Vietnam.

Several extremist groups also are drawing U.S. condemnation for abuses: the Islamic State group, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and the Taliban.

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