Putin’s latest crackdown on dissent and information

Russians who dare to speak out publicly against the war in  Ukraine  face long prison terms. Alexei Gorinov, a municipal deputy in Moscow, received a seven-year prison sentence July 8 for “spreading false information” about the Russian military. His crime? Gorinov called for “stopping the war and withdrawing Russian troops from Ukraine’s territory” during a March …

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Secretary Blinken’s Call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba

READOUT OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.  The Secretary expressed his appreciation for Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska’s trip to Washington, D.C. this week, noting that her visit offered an important opportunity to recognize the human cost of Russia’s …

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Heroes in the worldwide fight against human trafficking

Human traffickers continued to exploit vulnerable and marginalized communities in 2021 and 2022, according to the latest  U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report , released July 19. “The scale of this problem is vast,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken,  announcing the report’s findings July 19 at the State Department,  noting that nearly 25 million people are currently victims of trafficking. “The United States is committed to fighting it because trafficking …

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Release of the 2022 Women, Peace, and Security Report

PRESS STATEMENT ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE History shows that the meaningful inclusion of women in peace and security processes leads to more successful peace agreements, promotes stability, and strengthens U.S. national security. Through the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Act of 2017 and ongoing support for UN Security Council Resolution …

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OSCE Releases the Second Expert Mission Report on Human Rights Abuses and International Humanitarian Law Violations in Russia’s War Against Ukraine

PRESS STATEMENT NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON With Ukraine’s assent, the United States and 44 other countries invoked the OSCE Moscow Mechanism for a second time on June 2, establishing an expert mission to examine the further human rights abuses and humanitarian impacts of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. In the report released at today’s …

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Message on the 27th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide

PRESS STATEMENT NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON Today marks 27 years since the Srebrenica genocide. The American people join the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in mourning and honoring the victims – more than 8,000 men and boys who were murdered in July 1995.  The United States will never forget. We will continue to stand with …

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Biden honors 17 Americans with Medal of Freedom

By Mark Trainer President Biden awarded the  Presidential Medal of Freedom , the country’s highest civilian honor, to 17 Americans. The recipients represent diverse accomplishments across a variety of fields. Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values or security of the United States. Americans at their best, Biden said during the July 7 White House ceremony, “ensure …

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The Harsh Sentencing of Human Rights Defenders in Cuba

PRESS STATEMENT NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The United States is deeply concerned by the ongoing harsh sentencing of political protesters in Cuba, and we will continue to work with our partners around the world to demonstrate our collective support for the rights of Cubans who are unjustly detained.  Cuban judges have sentenced over 550 Cuban protesters …

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Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at Tbilisi PRIDE’s Regional LGBTQI+ Conference

Question about the event Ambassador Degnan: I’m very pleased to be here today for the LGBTQI+ Pride Week Regional Conference to discuss the issues and challenges facing the LGBTQI+ community in Georgia and in the region. The Biden administration has placed human rights at the centerpiece of our foreign policy. This is because we deeply …

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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 

PRESS STATEMENT ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today, we solemnly observe the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, and in so doing, the United States reaffirms our condemnation of torture no matter where or by whom it is perpetrated.  Torture is not only an unacceptable violation of human rights; it is a …

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Commemorating World Refugee Day 2022

PRESS STATEMENT ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE This World Refugee Day, we acknowledge the unprecedented humanitarian crises across the globe, resulting in the largest number of refugees in history.  Last month, we reached the tragic milestone of more than 100 million people forcibly displaced worldwide.  Through humanitarian assistance, diplomacy, and refugee resettlement, the United …

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Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on World Refugee Day 2022

Today, on World Refugee Day, I join people around the world in recognizing the strength, resilience, and humanity of the millions of refugees forced to flee violence, persecution, and war.  This is also a moment to honor the incredible generosity of host communities, the private sector, and state and local government across the United States …

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Beijing echoes Kremlin’s disinformation on Ukraine

By Leigh Hartman The People’s Republic of China claims neutrality on Russia’s war against Ukraine. Yet, according to the State Department’s Global Engagement Center,  PRC and Chinese Communist Party officials and state-run media repeat Kremlin disinformation  about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine and the atrocities committed by Russia’s forces. On February 4, 20 days before Putin’s war began, PRC President  Xi Jinping and Putin declared  the friendship between their countries to have …

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World Day Against Child Labor

PRESS STATEMENT NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON On World Day Against Child Labor, we renew our commitments and efforts to combat child labor and protect children. The United States was one of the first countries to sign the international treaty against child labor.  When President Clinton signed what is known as the Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention …

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Religious freedom: A U.S. founding principle

Religious freedom is a core American value and a  universal human right . It’s also a vital foreign policy priority, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said June 2. “When the fundamental right of each person to practice their faith or to choose not to observe a faith is respected, people can make their fullest contributions to their …

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The Russian military’s history of atrocities

By Leigh Hartman Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces in Ukraine have destroyed apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, shopping centers and ambulances, leaving thousands of civilians killed or wounded. Mounting evidence indicates that the Russian Federation’s forces are torturing and killing civilians in the cities they capture. After Russia’s forces withdrew from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, city officials …

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The 33rd Anniversary of Tiananmen Square

PRESS STATEMENT ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Tomorrow, we commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, where tens of thousands of pro-democracy protestors peacefully joined together to call for democracy, accountability, freedom, and rule of law.  The 50-day protest ended abruptly on June 4, 1989, with a brutal assault by …

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Invocation of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism to Investigate Mounting Reports of Human Rights Abuses and International Humanitarian Law Violations by Russia

Invocation of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism to Investigate Mounting Reports of Human Rights Abuses and International Humanitarian Law Violations by Russia in Ukraine PRESS STATEMENT NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON With Ukraine’s assent, the United States and 44 other countries have invoked the OSCE Moscow Mechanism a second time since the start of Russia’s further invasion …

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Secretary Blinken to Release 2021 International Religious Freedom Report

NOTICE TO THE PRESS OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will deliver on-camera remarks for the release of the 2021 International Religious Freedom Report on Thursday, June 2, 2022, at 11:30 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the U.S. Department of State. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain will deliver …

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Why is the International Religious Freedom Report important?

Religious freedom  is a universal human right. The United States is committed to defending and supporting it. In many countries around the world, people are persecuted and imprisoned for their religious beliefs. That is why the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report is so important. The annual report comprehensively reviews the status of religious freedom in nearly …

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Voices of Ukraine: Andriy

By Michael Laff This is part of a series of articles highlighting the costs of President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. We conducted our interviews with Andriy before and after Russia’s military launched its full-scale war on February 24. In February 2014, armed forces of the Russian Federation seized Crimea and occupied it by force. A month …

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Launch of the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA) for Ukraine

PRESS STATEMENT ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States, along with the European Union and the United Kingdom, has created the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA).  This joint initiative will directly support the efforts of the War Crimes Units of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine (OPG) to document, preserve, and …

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Russian-speaking communities in New York rally for Ukraine

Walk the streets of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Queens and other areas in New York City and you’ll likely see signs in Russian and English, along with plenty of support for Ukraine. New York City is home to  600,000  Russian-speaking immigrants, the most of any U.S. city. And many here — as well as others in communities …

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U.S. rushes humanitarian aid to Ukraine

By Leigh Hartman The U.S. government has provided more than  $688 million in humanitarian assistance  to help the people of Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion began on February 24. The aid comes as Russia’s war of aggression has displaced 7.7 million people within  Ukraine  and forced more than  6 million  to flee to neighboring countries. This humanitarian assistance — through the U.S. Agency for International …

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On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphopbia, Interphobia, and Transphobia

PRESS STATEMENT ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States affirms today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), that the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons are the same human rights to which all persons are entitled. As enshrined in Article 1 of the Universal …

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Decisive action needed to protect LGBTQI+ rights in Georgia

This joint statement is issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia Today, on the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), we reiterate our solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community in Georgia. LGBTQI+ persons remain among the least protected and most marginalized in Georgia. They face discrimination and violence, which often are underreported, while the protection and realization of …

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Joint Statement by Trilateral Working Group on Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls, Following 21st session of UN Permanent Forum for I

Joint Statement by the Trilateral Working Group on Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls, Following the 21st session of UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues   The text of the following statement was released by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States following the 21st session of the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous …

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U.S. Embassy Statement on the Ruling in the Cases of Gvaramia, Iashvili, and Damenia

Today’s ruling, in the cases of Gvaramia, Iashvili, and Damenia, calls into question Georgia’s commitment to rule of law, and further demonstrates the fundamental importance of having an independent, impartial judiciary in Georgia. From its inception, this case has raised questions, including about the timing and the charges. The disturbing pattern of selective investigations and …

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Joint Statement on Syria

Representatives of the United States, the Arab League, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom met in Brussels on May 10, 2022, to discuss the crisis in Syria. Begin Text. We applauded the European Union …

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G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on the Situation of Women and Girls in Afghanistan

The text of the following statement was released by the G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union. Begin Text. We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United …

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Targeting Russia’s Financial, Defense, and Marine Sectors and Promoting Accountability for Russian and Belarusian Military Officials

PRESS STATEMENT ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE As President Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified war enters its fourth month, the United States recognizes the staggering human toll of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.  Civilian casualties continue to mount, as do widespread reports of war crimes and other atrocities perpetrated by Russia’s forces in Ukraine.  As the …

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Ambassador Degnan visited the Institute for Change and Innovation

Peace Corps Volunteers can leave a lasting positive impact in the places they serve. The Institute for Change and Innovation (ICI), an NGO co-founded by current director Tamar Ghlonti and the head of the board, Zviad Eradze, and a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Ozurgeti, is a vivid example of such impact. Since its founding, …

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INL and Georgian MOIA Representatives attended The International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Reimagining Justice

With the support of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Bureau of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, five Victim and Witness Advocates of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MOIA) attended an International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Reimagining Justice organized by End Violence Against Women International in San Francisco, California …

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Countries expel Russian diplomats in protest over Ukraine

Nations are sending a loud message in response to Russia’s February full-scale invasion of Ukraine: They’re ordering Russian officials to leave. An estimated 400 Russian diplomatic officials were  expelled from Europe  since the invasion, according to Foreign Policy magazine. Among NATO members, at least 24 out of 30 member states asked Russian officials to leave. Casting out diplomats is just …

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2,000 journalists have been killed since the 1990s

Documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud was shot and killed after he passed through a checkpoint in Ukraine in 2022. Broadcast journalist Sisay Fida was gunned down in Ethiopia as he walked home from a 2021 wedding. Freelance journalist Lyra McKee was covering a 2019 clash between police and rioters in Northern Ireland when a gunman, aiming …

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Russia uses conscript soldiers for war in Ukraine

In its brutal war against  Ukraine , Russia relies on conscript soldiers who are often unaware of their assignments and inadequately trained for combat, independent media reports indicate. Vladimir Putin insisted on several occasions that only professional soldiers and officers were involved in Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine and that conscripts would not be used. …

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Ending gender-based online violence

The digital world holds great promise to amplify the voices of women, girls and LGBTQI+ individuals. But it also has given rise to new forms of gender-based abuse and harassment. Gender-based online violence is a human rights issue that must be tackled on a global stage, according to a coalition of governments, international organizations and …

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Statement by President Joe Biden on Armenian Remembrance Day

On April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. Thus began the Armenian genocide—one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century. Today, we remember the one and a half million Armenians who were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination, and mourn the …

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A Proclamation on Days Of Remembrance Of Victims Of The Holocaust, 2022

On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and throughout this week of remembrance, we reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust when the Nazi regime systematically murdered 6 million Jews and millions of other innocents, including Roma, Sinti, Slavs, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, political dissidents, and many others.  We stand with Jewish people in the United …

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Putin’s poisons: 2020 attack on Aleksey Navalny

This article is part of a series describing how the Russian government and Vladimir Putin conceal their or their allies’ involvement in chemical attacks on civilians worldwide. When a leading political activist in Russia dared to challenge President Vladimir Putin, he ended up poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by the former Soviet …

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U.S. spotlights human rights abuses worldwide

By Leigh Hartman When governments flout democracy and the rule of law, human rights are in danger. Nowhere is that clearer than in the Russian government’s war against Ukraine, where the troops of President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime have committed widespread atrocities, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said April 12, when announcing the release of the U.S. …

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Putin’s poisons: 2018 attack on Sergei Skripal

This article is part of a series describing how the Russian government and Vladimir Putin conceal their or their allies’ involvement in chemical attacks on civilians worldwide. In March 2018, Sergei Skripal, a British citizen who used to work as a Russian intelligence officer, and his daughter, Yulia, nearly died after coming into contact with …

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Secretary Blinken to Release the 2021 Human Rights Report

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will deliver on-camera remarks on the release of the 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices at 1:30 p.m. on April 12, 2022, in the Press Briefing Room at the U.S. Department of State. Acting Assistant Secretary Lisa Peterson of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor will take questions in the Briefing Room immediately …

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Russia’s Suspension from the UN Human Rights Council

PRESS STATEMENT ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE By suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, countries around the world chose to hold Moscow to account today for gross and systematic violations of human rights in its premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified war of choice against Ukraine.  We have seen growing evidence of Russia’s brutal disregard for international law and human rights in Ukraine, most notably …

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Fact Sheet on U.S. Security Assistance for Ukraine

President Biden today announced an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine, bringing the total U.S. security assistance committed to Ukraine to $1 billion in just the past week, and a total of $2 billion since the start of the Biden Administration. The assistance will take the form of direct transfers of equipment from …

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Russia’s media crackdown hides war in Ukraine

While state-controlled media bombard audiences with disinformation about Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, the Kremlin is intensifying its crackdown on  independent media to prevent the truth from reaching the Russian public. New restrictions from the Kremlin have forced most, if not all, independent media outlets in Russia — both domestic and foreign — to shut down or suspend …

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U.S. companies mobilize to support Ukraine

By Noelani Kirschner  Mar 14, 2022 As the  world denounces  Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, the private sector in the United States is showing its support for Ukraine in a number of ways. U.S. tech company Microsoft detected a Russian malware alert in Ukraine on the eve of the Russian government’s invasion. Within hours, protective code was shared …

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Remarks by Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield at a UN Security Council Meeting Called by Russia to Spread Disinformation About Ukraine

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield U.S. Representative to the United Nations New York, New York March 11, 2022 AS DELIVERED Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you to our briefers for your remarks this morning. Russia asked the Security Council for today’s meeting for the sole purpose of lying and spreading disinformation, and that is exactly what …

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Voices of Ukraine: Stanislav

This is part of a series of articles highlighting the costs of Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. This interview took place before the Russian military further invaded Ukraine on February 24. Stanislav remembers when the Russian military invaded the Donbas region of  Ukraine in 2014 and took control of the city of Donetsk. He was 24 …

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Secretary Blinken’s Call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba

READOUT OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today by phone with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. They discussed coordinated efforts to provide additional security assistance and humanitarian support to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s unprovoked and premeditated invasion and, in particular, its unconscionable attacks harming …

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The United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day Joint Statement

This joint statement is issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the Council of Europe Office in Georgia the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United …

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Voices of Ukraine: Nataliya

This is part of a series of articles highlighting the costs of Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. This interview took place before the Russian military further invaded Ukraine on February 24. For the last seven years, Nataliya has helped her fellow Ukrainians who were forced to flee their homes when Russia invaded in 2014. Nataliya and her …

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Overwhelming majority of nations demand Putin end war in Ukraine

Nations around the world are denouncing the Russian government’s unprovoked and unconscionable war against Ukraine. On March 2, in a rare emergency session, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russia’s attack on Ukraine and demand that Moscow immediately end its military operations in Ukraine. “This extraordinary move by the United Nations demonstrates …

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World isolates Putin’s regime after Ukraine invasion

Countries worldwide are taking action to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from continuing his war in Ukraine. More than  30 countries have announced strong sanctions and export controls targeting Russia, presenting a united front against Russia’s aggression. The United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the European Commission are among …

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U.S. increases emergency aid to Ukraine

In recent days, the Russian military has bombed schools, hospitals, homes and even a Holocaust memorial in Ukraine, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their communities for safer regions. To help Ukrainians affected by Russia’s further invasion, the United States will provide nearly  $54 million in additional humanitarian assistance . The additional humanitarian assistance, through the U.S. Department of State and  the U.S. Agency for International Development , will …

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Secretary Blinken’s Call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to offer support and condemn reports of Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian cities and mounting civilian deaths.  The Secretary emphasized that the United States and its allies and partners are united and resolved to stand with …

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Statement of the President on the NATO Summit and Call with President Zelenskyy

Today I met with fellow leaders from our NATO Allies to discuss our shared commitment to collective defense and Transatlantic security. As President Putin threatens the very foundations of international peace and security, NATO is once again demonstrating that it stands for freedom and democracy. As I said yesterday, the United States will defend every …

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Uyghur authors detail abuses in their homeland

When Gulbahar Haitiwaji returned to Xinjiang, China, in November 2016 after a decade in France, she stepped into a nightmare. She had been summoned back by her employer, purportedly to complete her retirement paperwork. Instead, local authorities arrested Haitiwaji and sent her to an internment camp. Her story is not unique — since 2017, the …

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Department of State Presence in Ukraine

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today the Department of State is again taking action for the safety and security of U.S. citizens, including our personnel.  For security reasons, Department of State personnel currently in Lviv will spend the night in Poland.  Our personnel will regularly return to continue their diplomatic work in Ukraine and …

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Blinken warns of Russia’s threat to Ukraine in U.N. speech

Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Russia to reject the “path of war” and withdraw its troops from Ukraine’s borders. “As we meet today the most immediate threat to peace and security is Russia’s looming aggression against  Ukraine, ” the secretary said February 17 at the U.N. Security Council in New York. The secretary said evidence of …

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The Kremlin’s disinformation tactics: Media manipulation [video]

Kremlin officials and Russian media are using disinformation to falsely portray  Ukraine  as an aggressor, even as Moscow masses troops at the border and threatens war. Unchecked, this  disinformation  may migrate globally into mainstream media and influence foreign audiences. Learn more about  disarming disinformation .

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Russia’s ‘barbaric treatment’ of Ukrainian cultural sites

Russia continues an aggressive campaign that aims to erase Ukraine’s cultural heritage. Removing artifacts, demolishing grave sites and shuttering churches are among the tactics Russia has been using since 2014 when it invaded Ukraine, occupied Crimea and instigated conflict in areas of the Donbas region. The aim is to establish control over Ukraine and rewrite …

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Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s Call with President Emmanuel Macron of France

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Emmanuel Macron of France.  They discussed President Macron’s recent meetings in Russia and Ukraine. They also talked about ongoing diplomatic and deterrence efforts, undertaken in close coordination with our Allies and partners, in response to Russia’s continued military build-up on Ukraine’s borders.

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Ukrainian Americans show support for Ukraine

Ukrainian Americans continue to express solidarity with family and friends in their native homeland. They worry amid threats of another Russian invasion. “We stand with Ukraine and against Russian aggression against a sovereign nation,” Ihor Diaczun, president of the Illinois Division of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America,  said during a December rally  in Chicago. “Our rally rejects the  Russian lies and disinformation .” …

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U.S. athletes to watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics [photo gallery]

By Lauren MonsenSherry L. Brukbacher As the countdown begins for the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympics, the world’s  elite athletes  are preparing to compete in a record 109 events in several sports — skating (which includes figure skating and speedskating), biathlon, skiing (which includes snowboarding and ski jumping), bobsledding, luge, skeleton, curling and ice hockey. Team USA  includes several stars, one …

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Black women transform contemporary literature

By Noelani Kirschner “Being a black woman writer is not a shallow place but a rich place to write from,” Toni Morrison said in an interview with the New Yorker. “It doesn’t limit my imagination; it expands it.” Black women in the United States are transforming the literary world as writers, publishers, magazine editors and academics. Here are …

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Crisis in Ukraine: Humanitarian costs

Ukraine is grappling with significant humanitarian needs. The buildup of Russian troops on the border of Ukraine has escalated tensions worldwide, but parts of Ukraine have suffered mightily since 2014. Thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals have been destroyed since Russian-led forces invaded Ukraine , seized Crimea, and instigated conflict  in the Donbas region. More than 14,000 people have …

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How Black History Month came to be

Black communities didn’t need a week or a month dedicated to their history in order to remember and treasure it, says historian Matthew Delmont of Dartmouth University. “They kept it in diaries and family records, in black newspapers, and through stories,” says Delmont, who is busy each February speaking to groups in schools and corporations …

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Mark Frerichs’ Second Year of Captivity in Afghanistan

PRESS STATEMENT NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON Tomorrow marks two years since U.S. Navy veteran Mark Frerichs was taken hostage. Mark is a civil engineer who was helping with construction projects for the benefit of the Afghan people when he was taken captive.  Despite his innocence, he remains held hostage by the Taliban and its affiliates. The United …

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Political Prisoners in Belarus

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The Lukashenka regime now holds more than 1,000 political prisoners.  These Belarusians, from all walks of life, have been arrested and confined simply because they peacefully exercised their rights to freedom of expression and assembly in response to a fraudulent election and the Lukashenka regime’s abuses.  Tens of thousands …

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Blinken pledges support for Ukraine during trip to Europe

The United States and  European allies  continue to emphasize diplomacy as the solution to the crisis in Ukraine as Russia escalates tensions with an unprovoked military buildup on Ukraine’s border. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled January 18–21 to Kyiv, Ukraine; Berlin and Geneva to discuss ongoing efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine. “We’ve …

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Holocaust denial and distortion must stop

By  Lauren Monsen Leaders around the globe are working together to counter dangerous messages of Holocaust denial and distortion that have spread in this digital age. The  International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance , a body that supports Holocaust education, research and remembrance worldwide, explains the terms: “Holocaust denial seeks to erase the history of the Holocaust. In doing so, it seeks to legitimize …

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Descendants of Holocaust survivors make an impact at State Department

By Michael Laff On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the world pauses to remember the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust and the millions more who were persecuted and killed by the Nazis and their collaborators. Most importantly, we honor the survivors, whose personal experiences continue to inspire. Ellen Germain, the Special Envoy for Holocaust …

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Honoring an American trailblazer for diversity

“I was considered a troublemaker,” Ambassador Terence A. Todman said of his time at the State Department, “and that was all right.” Todman (1926–2014) was one of the first Black Americans designated a career ambassador, a classification appointed by the president for distinguished service. He paved the way for nonwhite diplomats at the Department of …

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Readout of President Biden’s Video Call with European Leaders on Russia and Ukraine

President Biden held a secure video call with European leaders today. They reiterated their continued concern about the Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders and expressed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The leaders underscored their shared desire for a diplomatic resolution to the current tensions and reviewed recent engagements with Russia in multiple formats. …

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Dana Bash of CNN State of the Union

INTERVIEW ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE WASHINGTON, D.C. QUESTION:  Joining me now to talk about all this is Secretary of State Antony Blinken.  Thank you so much for joining me.  Let’s start with that new British intelligence that the Russian Government is planning to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine.  Does the U.S. agree with that view? SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, Dana, …

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Margaret Brennan of CBS Face the Nation

INTERVIEW ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE WASHINGTON, D.C. QUESTION:  Secretary of State Antony Blinken is just back from consultations with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and he joins us this morning from the State Department.  Good morning.  Mr. Secretary, these all look like signs of escalation. SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, there is a path of diplomacy and dialogue, which is clearly the …

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Chuck Todd of NBC Meet the Press

INTERVIEW ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE WASHINGTON, D.C. QUESTION:  Joining me now is the Secretary of State.  Secretary Blinken, welcome back to Meet the Press, sir. SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks, Chuck.  Good to be with you. QUESTION:  Let’s start with that intelligence from the British.  How reliable is it, as far as you’re concerned, and …

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Senior State Department Officials On Posture of U.S. Embassy Kyiv

OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON VIA TELECONFERENCE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, and thanks to everyone for joining this call, especially on a Sunday evening on such short notice. As a reminder at the top, the briefing today is on background.  We have joining us this evening two senior State Department officials who will discuss the recent decision regarding the authorized …

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Secretary Blinken’s Call with Canadian Foreign Minister Joly

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke yesterday with Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine.  Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Joly spoke about our shared concerns regarding the threat Russia poses to Ukraine and efforts to encourage Russia to choose diplomacy and de-escalation. Secretary Blinken stressed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and our …

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Russia’s leaders use state media as a political weapon

State-controlled media in Russia routinely hide the truth, but they don’t hide their support for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policies. Rather than inform the public and hold the government accountable, broadcasting outlets in Russia offer a pro-Kremlin version of the news. When foreign media coverage of Russian leaders or their policies is unfavorable, Russian state-media …

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Russia targets Ukraine with disinformation campaign

For years, Russian state-funded and state-directed media outlets have promoted false and  provocative stories  about Ukraine. They do this to influence opinion. They portray Ukraine’s government as an instigator of violence, even against its own civilians. In April 2021, one Russian media outlet reported that a young boy was killed in the eastern Donbas region by a …

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Taking Action to Expose and Disrupt Russia’s Destabilization Campaign in Ukraine

Press Statement January 20, 2022 In advance of a potential further invasion of Ukraine, Russian intelligence services, mainly the Federal Security Service (FSB), a U.S. sanctioned entity, have been recruiting Ukrainian nationals in key positions to gain access to sensitive information.  The FSB leverages these officials in an attempt to create instability in Ukraine.  In …

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National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

OFFICE TO MONITOR AND COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS anuary is  National Human Trafficking Prevention Month  . Every year since 2010, the President has dedicated the month to raise awareness about human trafficking and to educate the public about how to identify and prevent this crime. The U.S. Department of State raises awareness of human trafficking domestically and abroad, through U.S. embassies and consulates. During this month, we celebrate …

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Kazakhstan State of Emergency

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price: The United States is closely following the situation in Kazakhstan, a valued partner.  We condemn the acts of violence and destruction of property and call for restraint by both the authorities and protestors.  We ask for all Kazakhstanis to respect and defend constitutional …

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U.S. COVID-19 vaccine donations spanned the globe in 2021

By Leigh Hartman The United States and partner organizations waged a historic vaccination campaign in 2021, delivering millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses worldwide. Working with partners, the United States distributed more than 350 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to over 110 countries, supported vaccine manufacturing abroad, and rushed lifesaving assistance to hot spots around the world. President Biden …

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Fostering equity and equality for all

People around the world should have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Gender shouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. That’s why the Biden-Harris administration launched what it calls the first-ever  National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality . “By advancing the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQI+ persons in all their diversity, we will advance the collective prosperity, …

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Honoring International Migrants Day

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE On December 18, International Migrants Day, we recognize the rights, contributions, and struggles of migrants, and reiterate the United States’ commitment to support safe, orderly, and humane migration around the world.  Through regional partnerships created by the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration with international humanitarian partners like the …

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World urges China’s leaders to respect human rights

By Leigh Hartman What if your culture was banned by your government? Or your child was taken from you and raised speaking another language? Was your wife or daughter sterilized without her consent? Wouldn’t you want the world to know? On October 21, the United States, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium joined 39 other countries in calling for …

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Afghanistan Relocation and Resettlement Update

Since August 31, the State Department has continued its around-the-clock efforts to relocate U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents currently in Afghanistan who want to depart, as well as Afghan allies who worked with us over the course of our 20-year military mission in Afghanistan and their families.  As Secretary Blinken has said, there is no deadline for this work, which at the State Department is led by the Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts, Ambassador Beth Jones. This update provides the …

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INL Conducts Public Corruption and Law Enforcement Techniques Course for Georgian Officials

December 9 is International Anti-corruption Day.  It is an annual opportunity to bring attention to the continued importance of combating corruption, ensuring accountability, and fostering transparency.  The United States is stepping up its efforts to combat corruption and support honest governance around the world.  President Biden, in a June 3 memorandum, elevated the fight against global …

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The United States Promotes Accountability for Human Rights Violations and Abuses

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE We are determined to put human rights at the center of our foreign policy, and we reaffirm this commitment by using appropriate tools and authorities to draw attention to and promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses, no matter where they occur. The United States appreciates the coordinated …

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On Human Rights Day

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, as chair of the UN Human Rights Commission, helped to spearhead the creation of this landmark document, which has been fundamental to seeking to ensure human rights are …

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Remarks By President Biden At The Summit For Democracy Opening Session

8:12 A.M. EST THE PRESIDENT: Well, hello everyone, and welcome to the first Summit for Democracy. This gathering has been on my mind for a long time for a simple reason: In the face of sustained and alarming challenges to democracy, universal human rights, and — all around the world, democracy needs champions. And I …

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken Opening Remarks at the Virtual Summit for Democracy Leaders’ Plenary Session

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Mr. President, thank you so much for kicking off the Summit for Democracy and pushing us to consider how we can strengthen our democracies to meet the challenges before us in this new century. As the President mentioned, we’ve been very much looking forward to today’s discussion, the work that’s going to follow …

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In the U.S., democracy begins in the classroom

By Amirah Ismail When does democracy start? In America, kids experience democracy as early as the first grade. Through participation in group activities, American students are immersed in  democratic principles like choice, consensus, and freedom of expression from an early age. In elementary schools — or primary schools — teachers and students make decisions at the beginning of the school …

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First woman leads SOUTHCOM

With her swearing-in on October 29, Army General Laura Richardson  became the first woman  to lead the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and only the third woman to lead one of the U.S. military’s 11 unified combatant commands. As commander, Richardson oversees U.S. military operations across South and Central America, in addition to the Caribbean. “We must hasten to pick …

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Joint Statement on Reports of Summary Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Afghanistan

OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON The text of the following statement was released initially by the Governments of the United States of America, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, …

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On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities PRESS STATEMENT

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE On December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the United States remains steadfast in our commitment and resolve to advance the human rights of persons with disabilities at home and around the world.  We urge foreign governments to engage persons with disabilities in the democratic process, to combat discrimination and abuse, counter prejudice, and to protect their rights …

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Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at UN Women Meeting on Enhancing Access To Justice for Sexual Violence Victims

Q-n about the event Ambassador Kelly Degnan: This is a very important meeting to raise awareness about the crime of sexual violence and rape against women and children and girls, and to raise awareness about the grave widespread human rights violation that this represents around the world, including in Georgia. The goal is to harmonize …

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World AIDS Day: The progress made

A U.S.-created program, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), continues to help the world fight HIV nearly two decades after it was created. Today,  PEPFAR  is also tackling COVID-19. Among PEPFAR’s achievements: Saved more than 21 million lives. Prevented millions of HIV infections. Accelerated progress toward achieving epidemic control of HIV in  more than 50 countries  since …

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Commemorating World AIDS Day

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE This World AIDS Day, the United States recognizes continued progress in the global AIDS response as well as the serious threat HIV remains to global health and global health security. Over nearly two decades, strong bipartisan U.S. leadership across Administrations and from Congress has helped move the global HIV …

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U.S. Support for Human Rights Defenders

BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR Overview Protecting and supporting human rights defenders is a key priority of U.S. foreign policy. Because human rights defenders seek to hold their governments accountable to protect universally recognized human rights, defenders are often harassed, detained, interrogated, imprisoned, tortured, and even killed for doing their work. The Department’s objective is to enable human rights defenders …

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International Women Human Rights Defenders Day

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON On November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) Day, the United States commemorates the work of women human rights defenders: all women and girls who work for human rights, all people who defend the rights of women and girls, and all people who defend the rights to be free from …

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Time to end violence against women and girls in Georgia

This joint statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, …

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Observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV) is a human rights imperative and one this Administration is committed to championing.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, GBV impeded women and girls’ free and full participation in society.  The pandemic has only exacerbated existing gender inequities, including increasing women’s economic insecurity; …

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Ending violence against women: A human rights imperative

By Lenore T. Adkins The world recognizes the  International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women  on November 25, a day to heighten awareness about the physical, psychological and emotional harm women face worldwide. The U.S. Department of State sees  tackling violence against women  as a human rights imperative. Violence threatens women’s and girls’ safety, and it sets barriers to their potential for prosperity or filling leadership …

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Treatment of Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON We are closely following the treatment of former President Mikheil Saakashvili since his arrest on October 1.  We commend the oversight work of the Georgian Public Defender in establishing an independent medical team to evaluate Mr. Saakashvili’s health and to review the state of medical facilities at the prison hospital.  We …

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Persecuted at home, Uyghurs sustain their culture abroad

By Leigh Hartman Growing up in western China, Dilnur Reyhan read French authors and admired ideals enshrined in French culture, such as respect for personal liberty. So in 2004, facing discrimination in Xinjiang, the young Uyghur woman knew where she wanted to go. “I came to France because I believed in human rights,”  Reyhan said in May 2021 , noting her mother …

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U.S. Embassy Statement Following the Second Round of Georgian Municipal Elections

After a long and divisive campaign, the people of Georgia cast their votes in the second round of municipal elections on October 30.  We commend the voters, and dedicated election workers, representatives of Georgia’s professional domestic election observation organizations and NGOs, and international monitors who participated despite the COVID pandemic and a tense election environment.     …

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Almost 2,000 journalists have been killed since the 1990s

By Sasha Ingber Broadcast journalist Sisay Fida was gunned down in Ethiopia as he walked home from a 2021 wedding. Freelance journalist Lyra McKee was covering a 2019 clash between police and rioters in Northern Ireland when a gunman, aiming at police, shot and killed her. Reporter Marie Colvin lost her eye to shrapnel in Sri Lanka …

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United States elected to U.N. Human Rights Council

The United States is rejoining the United Nations Human Rights Council to promote and defend human rights worldwide. The United States was elected October 14 to a seat on the council for a three-year term, from January 2022 to December 2024. The United States will be one of 47 nations composing the council. “Together, we …

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Nations rally to fight global ransomware threat

By Leigh Hartman Computer hackers are using ransomware to infiltrate networks and hold businesses, even critical infrastructure, hostage. In July, a single ransomware incident affected thousands of businesses in at least 17 countries , including the United States, and sought to extort tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. That’s why the White House convened representatives from 30 countries and the European Union October 13–14 for …

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The importance of an independent press

Free, independent media allow the public to make informed decisions, hold leaders accountable and hear a diversity of opinions — all free of government influence. Journalists in the United States can report on public health questions, question elected officials — sometimes aggressively — and raise controversial issues without fear of reprisal. “Information and knowledge are …

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Observance of International Day of the Girl Child

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE On International Day of the Girl Child, the United States joins the global community in recognizing an inherent truth: all girls around the world deserve to live safe, healthy, and empowered lives.  Girls are critical participants in our local and global communities, poised to be at the forefront of …

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U.S. supports vaccinations in hard-to-reach communities

By Michael Laff The United States and international partners are ensuring COVID-19 vaccines reach people in remote and traditionally underserved communities around the world. The United States is providing  more than 600 million safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses  — with no political strings attached — to developing countries and economies. Most donations are through  COVAX, an international partnership designed to equitably distribute vaccine doses  to protect people who are most at-risk. COVAX recently delivered 151,200 U.S.-donated …

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Commemorating the International Day of Democracy 

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE On this International Day of Democracy, we underscore our support for democracy as we strive toward a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable world. The United States places democracy and human rights at the center of our foreign policy; they are essential elements in achieving and sustaining peace and stability the world …

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The United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for the People of Afghanistan

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE As part of our commitment to the people of Afghanistan, the United States is providing nearly $64 million in new humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.  This brings total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly …

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Joint Statement on Afghanistan Evacuation Travel Assurances

The text of the following statement was released initially by the Governments of the United States of America, Albania, Australia, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Canada, Central African Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Eswatini, Federated States …

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On International Day Commemorating Survivors of Religious Persecution

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE On the International Day Commemorating Survivors of Religious Persecution, we recognize that individuals around the world are harassed, threatened, beaten, imprisoned, and killed for exercising their beliefs.  In some cases, governments have used COVID-19 as a pretext to target members of religious groups, members of civil society, opposition voices, and marginalized communities.  This day serves as …

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International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism

Today we mark International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism. Acts of fear-based oppression and violence affect thousands of innocent individuals each year. Victims of terrorism continue in the struggle to have their voices heard, their needs met, and their rights protected. Victims can often feel overlooked, and many have trouble …

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Statement by Secretary Antony Blinken On the Occasion of World Humanitarian Day

On World Humanitarian Day, we recognize and honor all of the humanitarian aid workers who have sacrificed so much – including, for too many of them, their lives — to answer the call to protect and support the world’s most vulnerable populations. We commend the bravery and compassion of humanitarian aid workers who put the …

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Joint Statement from the Department of State and Department of Defense: Update on Afghanistan

OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON The following is the text of a joint statement released by the Department of State and Department of Defense on Afghanistan. Begin text: At present we are completing a series of steps to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable the safe departure of U.S. and allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military …

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Joint Statement on Afghanistan

OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON The following is the text of a joint statement on Afghanistan initially released by the following: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federated States of …

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U.S. vaccine donations top 110 million doses

The United States has donated more than 110 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to dozens of countries and is committed to vaccinating the world, President Biden said. Biden announced August 3 that U.S. shipments of vaccines surpassed 110 million and said millions more doses will ship worldwide in the coming months. Vaccinating everyone is critical …

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How Russia’s ‘foreign agents’ law silences dissent

Harassment and censorship of independent media and government critics is common in the Russian Federation. A so-called “foreign agents” law, passed in 2012 and repeatedly expanded, allows the Justice Ministry to label groups or individuals “foreign agents,” exposing them to fines and harassment that stymie their work. In July, Russian authorities prosecuted  human rights advocate Semyon Simonov , who exposed …

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Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on Belarus

One year ago today, the people of Belarus sought to make their voices heard and shape their own future through that most basic expression of democracy—an election. Rather than respect the clear will of the Belarusian people, the Lukashenka regime perpetrated election fraud, followed by a brutal campaign of repression to stifle dissent. From detaining …

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Holding the Lukashenka Regime to Account on the Anniversary of the Fraudulent Presidential Belarusian Election

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE On the one-year anniversary of Belarus’s fraudulent presidential election, the United States government has taken decisive action against forty-four individuals and entities in order to hold Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his regime to account for its continued, violent repression of Belarusians inside and outside the country.  These steps are a further consequence …

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U.S. Embassy Statement on the 13th Anniversary of the August War

Thirteen years ago, Russia invaded the sovereign nation of Georgia. Since that time, thousands of residents have been displaced, persecuted, and impoverished. Many have lost their lives. Russia’s aggressive actions, including “borderization” and detention of Georgian citizens, have caused untold hardships. The human costs of the occupation have been particularly grave during the global COVID-19 …

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23rd Commemoration of the August 7th U.S. Embassy Bombings

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today we somberly remember the terror attacks that took place on August 7, 1998, in Kenya and Tanzania.  Nearly simultaneously, terrorists detonated bombs next to the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.  Their attacks killed 224 men, women, and children, and injured over 4,500 others.  In an …

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Hizballah Rocket Attacks into Israel

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The United States condemns in the strongest terms Hizballah’s rocket attacks into Israel. This violence puts Israelis and Lebanese at risk and jeopardizes Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty.  The United States remains engaged with Israeli and Lebanese officials, as well as the Lebanese Armed Forces. We call upon the Lebanese government urgently to prevent such …

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Harassment of Foreign Journalists in the People’s Republic of China

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The United States is deeply concerned with the increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment, and intimidation of U.S. and other foreign journalists in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including foreign journalists covering the devastation and loss of life caused by recent floods in Henan. The U.S. government reiterates the condolences of the …

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Imposing Sanctions in Defense of Human Rights in Syria

PRESS STATEMENT ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States is taking action to promote accountability for entities and individuals that have perpetuated the suffering of the Syrian people.  The United States is sanctioning eight Syrian prisons, five Assad regime officials in the institutions that run those facilities, two militia groups, and two militia …

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Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Refugee Convention

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention.  At this time of historic global forced displacement, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have exacerbated the challenges refugees face, making the international commitments in the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol more vital than ever.  We are committed to …

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Protests in Iran

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON Protests in Iran that began with a water shortage — owing to drought and governmental mismanagement and neglect — in the Khuzestan province have now spread across various cities including Tehran, Karaj and Tabriz. The Iranian people are now putting a spotlight not only on their unmet needs, but also their …

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Escalation of Violence along International Border between Armenia and Azerbaijan

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The United States condemns the recent escalation of violence along the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  We call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to uphold their ceasefire commitments by taking immediate steps to de-escalate the situation. Continued tensions along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border underscore the fact that only a comprehensive resolution that …

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U.S. supports Uyghurs in ‘Voices of Xinjiang’

Adalet Sabit’s daughter has never met her father. The government of the People’s Republic of China confiscated her husband’s passport and refused to let him leave Xinjiang, where Uyghurs live in a state of constant surveillance. Sabit says her video calls to her husband are denied and she doesn’t know if the pictures she sends …

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Department Press Briefing

2:11 p.m. EDT MR PRICE: Good afternoon. QUESTION: Good afternoon. MR PRICE: All right. Happy Tuesday, everyone. Just a couple things here at the top. I wanted to start with developments in our own hemisphere. As you know, President Biden and Secretary Blinken have made human rights central to our foreign policy, and I would like to address …

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U.S. Leadership on Human Rights and Ending Systemic Racism

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE This Administration is deeply dedicated to addressing racial injustice and inequities at home and abroad. On the global stage, the United States is leading by example. Last month, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report on racism and police brutality against Africans and people of African …

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Message on the 26th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON Today marks 26 years since the genocide in Srebrenica.  The American people join the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in solemn remembrance of the over 8,000 victims who were murdered. We stand with the families of those who lost their loved ones and with those who tirelessly seek justice in their …

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Fight for a world without human trafficking

In 2020, as governments focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, human traffickers found new ways to perpetrate their crimes, a new State Department report says. Traffickers targeted vulnerable families with fraudulent offers that led to exploitation. And more time online left some more vulnerable to trafficking. Meanwhile, lockdowns and social distancing requirements limited victims’ access to …

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Joint Statement on violence in Tbilisi

Joint Statement of the Embassies of Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, the European Union Monitoring Mission, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, UN system in Georgia, the United States, and the EU Delegation to Georgia concerning violence in Tbilisi We condemn today’s violent attacks on the civic activists, …

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Ambassador Degnan meets with human rights advocates

The United States continues to support the Government of Georgia and members of civil society in upholding their commitment to protecting the human rights of all citizens. Georgia’s Constitution and laws guarantee every citizen the right to equality and dignity and to freely develop their personality, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Ambassador …

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken At the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report Launch Ceremony

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE BEN FRANKLIN ROOM WASHINGTON, D.C. MS JOHNSTONE: Good afternoon, and welcome. My name is Kari Johnstone. I am the acting director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Thank you all for joining us virtually to mark the release of the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, or …

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Release of the 2021 Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Report

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Women are a powerful force for peace and essential partners in advancing international security.  The United States has long championed the safe, meaningful participation of women in our diplomatic, development, and defense efforts.  As underscored by the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Act of 2017 and our support of …

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U.S. Support for the People of Syria

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Yesterday, I was honored to co-host with Italy a productive meeting on Syria, during which I reiterated the imperative of ensuring that vital humanitarian assistance reaches all Syrians in need.  I underscored the importance of reauthorizing and expanding the ability of the United Nations to provide this life-saving assistance to the Syrian people across borders — a …

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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we recognize the bravery and humanity of victims and survivors of torture around the world.  The absolute prohibition of torture is a human right enshrined in international law.  Since its inception in 1987, 171 countries—including the United States—have become …

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U.S.-EU-Canada: Joint Statement on Venezuela

The following statement was released by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau. Begin text: We remain deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela and its regional and global impact. The peaceful solution to that …

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Biden: U.S. will donate 500 million vaccine doses for global COVID-19 fight

The United States is purchasing a half a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to donate to nearly 100 developing countries around the world through COVAX. President Biden announced the “monumental commitment by the American people” on June 10, saying the donation lays the foundation for democratic nations’ sustained efforts to rid the world of COVID-19. “We’re …

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Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on World Refugee Day

Today, I join people around the globe in commemorating World Refugee Day, a day when we recognize the courage and humanity of the millions forced to flee violence, persecution, and war. It is also a moment to honor the generosity of communities welcoming refugees and the bravery and dedication of humanitarian workers who provide life-saving …

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Commemorating World Refugee Day 2021

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE World Refugee Day presents an opportunity to recognize the courage and resilience of the millions of refugees who have been forced to flee their homes, the generosity of the communities that host them, and the united global response of humanitarian partners that help them.  We mark today with news …

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In Commemoration of Juneteenth

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Juneteenth, or June 19, is a reflective day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to abolish slavery. Yet it wasn’t until two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865, that his notice of …

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International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States has long been committed to the prevention of, and accountability for, conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) as well as efforts to support and protect survivors. On this International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the United States proudly stands with the global community in …

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Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s Remarks to Media at Solidarity Walk Dedicated to World Refugee Day

Q-n about the event Ambassador Kelly Degnan: It is a real honor to be here today to join with this community in recognizing World Refugee Day. The United States is the largest single provider of humanitarian assistance in the world to refugees, displaced persons, persons affected by conflict and related categories. Just here in Georgia, …

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Remarks by President Biden at Signing of the Juneteenth National Independence Day

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, thank you, thank you.   Well, thank you, Madam Vice President.   One hundred and fifty-six years ago — one hundred and fifty-six years — June 19th, 1865 — John, thanks for being here — a major general of the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation …

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10th Anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today marks the tenth anniversary of the unanimous endorsement by the UN Human Rights Council of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). These principles recognize a three-pronged approach to protecting human rights in the context of business activity: States have the duty to protect human …

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Juneteenth: A day to celebrate Black communities’ strength

Juneteenth — or June 19 — is an annual holiday to commemorate the contributions made by Black Americans, their resilience despite their history of enslavement, and the continued fight against systemic racism. In the words of historian Henry Louis Gates Jr., “Juneteenth offers a chance for reflection on the past and consideration for the future. …

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How the U.S. uses trade to deter forced labor

By Leigh Hartman The United States works to stop forced labor around the world. That’s why it won’t import seafood from a fishing fleet based out of the People’s Republic of China. A yearlong U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigation found evidence that PRC-based Dalian Ocean Fishing Company demonstrated all 11 of the  International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor  (PDF, 4.2MB). On May …

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USAID and vaccines: Helping save 9.3 million children in the last 10 years

The U.S. Agency for International Development is committed to immunizing people everywhere. Immunization is cost-effective,  slows or halts preventable disease  and gives children a healthy start in life. Most importantly, it saves an estimated 2 million to 3 million lives each year, cutting child deaths globally by at least half. During the last decade, USAID’s child health programs have helped …

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World Day Against Child Labor

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON Child labor harms the physical and mental development of children, depriving them of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity. For their future and for the world’s future, we must do more to combat child labor and protect children from this scourge. June 12 is the World Day Against Child Labor, …

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The United States and UAE partner against ISIS propaganda

The editorial below, written by Omar Ghobash, assistant minister for culture and public diplomacy at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Christopher Hodges, deputy assistant secretary of state for press and public diplomacy and assistance coordination in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, describes …

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On the 32nd Anniversary of Tiananmen Square

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.  Named after the nearby Gate of Heavenly Peace, the square is instead synonymous with the brutal actions by the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1989 to silence tens of thousands of individuals advocating to have a …

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Statement by President Joe Biden on Diversion of Ryanair Flight and Arrest of Journalist in Belarus

Belarus’s forced diversion of a commercial Ryanair flight, traveling between two member states of the European Union, and subsequent removal and arrest of Raman Pratasevich, a Belarusian journalist traveling abroad, are a direct affront to international norms. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms both the diversion of the plane and the subsequent …

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U.S. defends religious freedom, a universal right

The United States is committed to defending religious freedom around the world, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said. “Religious freedom, like every human right, is universal,” Blinken said May 12, announcing the release of the State Department’s  2020 Report on International Religious Freedom . “All people, everywhere, are entitled to it no matter where they live, what they believe, …

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Ambassador Degnan’s visit to Kakheti Domestic Violence shelter

Ambassador Degnan visited Kakheti Domestic Violence shelter, a small, family-equipped facility, which was fully renovated through U.S. Government funding from the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and the Bureau of International Law Enforcement and Narcotics. Prior to its opening in 2016 there was no such institution in Kakheti.  Ambassador Degnan and Deputy …

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On the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE This year’s May 17 marks 16 years since the first International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB). In the intervening period, the United States has endeavored to reaffirm the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex persons. To be …

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken on Release of the 2020 International Religious Freedom Report

MR PRICE:  Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today.  I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to introduce Secretary Blinken, who will speak to the Department’s  International Religious Freedom Report .  We will then hear from Office of International Religious Freedom senior official Dan Nadel, who will be happy to take your questions on this year’s report. …

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On the Occasion of Eid al-Fitr

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE I extend my warmest wishes to all Muslims in the United States and around the world celebrating Eid al-Fitr. On this Eid al-Fitr, we reflect on the values of charity, community, cooperation, and compassion, and, in the face of a global pandemic, we honor the Muslims worldwide who came …

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Uyghur educators face prison, death in China

For Uyghurs, using their native language can mean a death sentence. People’s Republic of China authorities are sentencing Uyghur Muslim educators who publish textbooks in their native language to life in prison and even death. A PRC court on April 6 announced the  death sentence against Sattar Sawut , former director general of the education department in Xinjiang, for publishing …

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Statement by President Joe Biden on Armenian Remembrance Day

Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring. Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians …

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U.S. calls on the Kremlin to end crackdown on press freedom

By  Leigh Hartman Russian authorities raided student magazine Doxa on April 14, arresting four editors and ransacking their homes. The students’ alleged crime? Reporting on university administrators’ attempts to intimidate students protesting in support of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny. The students’ arrest is the latest in the Kremlin’s ongoing crackdown on free and independent media …

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Additional Civilian Assistance to Afghanistan

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE President Biden was clear that while the United States will withdraw military forces from Afghanistan, our support for the country will continue.  As part of our commitment to invest in and support the Afghan people, we are working with Congress to provide nearly $300 million in additional civilian assistance for Afghanistan in 2021 from …

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Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Human Rights Defenders

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:‎ Advancing the Administration’s commitment to put human rights at the heart of U.S. foreign policy, Secretary Blinken met today with eight human rights defenders who work around the globe.  The Secretary reaffirmed the United States’ support for their efforts to build free, equitable, and democratic societies where …

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Russia’s Intention To Restrict Navigation in Parts of the Black Sea

The United States expresses its deep concern over Russia’s plans to block foreign naval ships and state vessels in parts of the Black Sea, including near occupied Crimea and the Kerch Strait. Russia has a history of taking aggressive actions against Ukrainian vessels and impeding access to Ukraine’s ports in the Sea of Azov, impacting …

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Nations support U.S. holding Russia to account

The United States is imposing consequences on the Russian government for cyber intrusions, attempted election interference and other “reckless” conduct against the United States and its allies. More than 20 countries issued statements expressing solidarity with or support for the United States. President Biden in an April 15  executive order  strengthening sanctions authority called Russia’s behavior — …

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Women tackle firefighting’s risks and rewards

Women are making major contributions to fire departments across the United States, achieving new milestones in a field traditionally dominated by men. In February, three women with the  Washington Township Fire Department in Ohio  became the department’s first all-female crew to answer a fire call. In September 2020, five women with the  Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Department  achieved a similar milestone, working an all-woman shift for …

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U.S. and international partners target Beijing’s Uyghur oppression

The United States and international partners are imposing sanctions against senior People’s Republic of China officials for serious human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. On March 22, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the Global Magnitsky sanctions issued in concert with Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union against top officials with two …

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U.S. and partners seek to deter human rights violations

The United States is working with international partners to defend human rights worldwide as authoritarian regimes step up repression amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Standing for people’s freedom and dignity honors America’s most sacred values,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said March 30, announcing the release of the  2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices . “At our best, we stand for …

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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Georgia

Executive Summary ANNOUNCEMENT: The Department of State will release an addendum to this report in mid 2021 that expands the subsection on Women in Section 6 to include a broader range of issues related to reproductive rights.​ Georgia’s constitution provides for an executive branch that reports to the prime minister, a unicameral parliament, and a separate …

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Trans-Atlantic Webinar Features Educators on the Holocaust 

Teachers and community educators from 32 countries gathered virtually March 18 for the U.S. Department of State’s second in a series of international webinars on Holocaust education. The session, entitled “Trans-Atlantic Dialogues II: Teaching the Holocaust in Challenging Times,” was hosted by U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Cherrie Daniels in cooperation with the United …

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken On Release of the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE PRESS BRIEFING ROOM WASHINGTON, D.C. MR PRICE:  Good afternoon.  Today I have the privilege of welcoming back to the press briefing room Secretary Blinken.  It’s especially a privilege today because the Secretary, as you know, is here to unveil the  2020 Human Rights Report . Secretary Blinken will have a statement; he’ll take …

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Barbara Watson paved the way for women and Black diplomats

By Noelani Kirschner Diplomat Barbara Watson achieved historic firsts during her time at the State Department. But firsts were familiar in her family. Watson was the child of New York’s first elected Black judge, James S. Watson, and Violet Lopez Watson, a founder of the National Council of Negro Women. Watson’s cousin Colin L. Powell …

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken at the UN Security Council Briefing and Consultations on the Humanitarian Situation in Syria

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE SECRETARY BLINKEN:  (In progress) and thank you, Dr. Ballour, both for the lifesaving service you performed for your fellow Syrians amidst the most harrowing circumstances, and for your powerful, determined efforts to bring the experiences of the Syrian people to the world – and to push for their rights …

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Secretary Blinken To Release the 2020 Human Rights Report

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will deliver on-camera remarks on the release of the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the Press Briefing Room at the U.S. Department of State. Acting Assistant Secretary Lisa Peterson of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor will take …

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Briefing with Acting Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS John Godfrey On U.S. Participation in the Upcoming D-ISIS Ministerial

MR PRICE:  Good afternoon, everyone.  I apologize we’re running a couple minutes late here but thank you for joining us as we discuss tomorrow’s virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group.  The meeting, as you know, will be co-hosted by Secretary Blinken and his Belgian counterpart, Deputy …

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Black women who changed our world

Many of the modern conveniences we rely on each day come from the accomplishments of African American women. Black women inventors helped shaped the way we watch movies, conduct online meetings, and even heat and secure our homes. They succeeded in developing new technologies despite obstacles, such as resistance to developing their products and other …

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Statement by President Biden on Turkey’s Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

Turkey’s sudden and unwarranted withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, is deeply disappointing. Around the world, we are seeing increases in the number of domestic violence incidents, including reports of rising femicide in Turkey, the first nation to …

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Fact Sheet: U.S. Efforts to Combat Systemic Racism

“The prevalence, and pervasiveness, of racial discrimination might make the situation look hopeless, but we remain hopeful. Let us expose the racism and racial discrimination endemic to every society, around the globe. Let us press forward, to root out that discrimination and remove the rot from our foundations. And on this day dedicated to ending …

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Statement by President Biden on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

One of the core values and beliefs that should bring us together as Americans is standing against hate and racism, even as we acknowledge that systemic racism and white supremacy are ugly poisons that have long plagued the United States. We must change the laws that enable discrimination in our country, and we must change …

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Report: Governments target critics during COVID-19

After criticizing the Venezuelan government’s response to COVID-19 in April, human rights lawyer Iván Virgüez was arrested and tortured by the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro. Chinese reporter Zhang Zhan traveled to Wuhan, China, in February 2020 to report on the city’s coronavirus outbreak and was later sentenced to four years in prison. The journalist’s …

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China targets Uyghurs with sham trials, long sentences

The People’s Republic of China is stepping up baseless prosecutions of Uyghur and other Muslim minorities, sentencing innocent people to years in prison, a new report says. In a February 24 report, Human Rights Watch says that the PRC’s judicial system in Xinjiang has sentenced 250,000 Uyghur and other ethnic minorities to prison, and that …

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U.S. Embassy Statement on the Events at TV Pirveli

We are watching closely developments at TV Pirveli, in particular the interactions between law enforcement and members of the media. The balanced, impartial application of the rule of law and the right of journalists to safeguard their sources – a fundamental principle of media freedom — must remain priorities as this investigation is conducted. Both …

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Designation of Iranian Officials Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, we made clear our concerns about the abuses the Iranian government continues to perpetrate against its citizens, including the unjust detention of far too many in deplorable conditions.  The United States is committed to promoting accountability for those responsible for such actions.  Therefore, I am announcing the designation of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) interrogators Ali Hemmatian and …

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United States Embassy Statement on the Release of the OSCE/ODIHR Limited Election Observation Mission Final Report

The United States welcomes the release of the OSCE/ODIHR Limited Election Observation Mission Final Report. The report underscores the continued need for important reforms, particularly in the areas of campaign finance, electoral administration compositions, and dispute resolution. The United States shares these concerns, and urges Parliament to continue a deliberative and inclusive reform process that …

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Meet 6 women pioneers of American diplomacy

The United States has been sending diplomats around the world since the 18th century. For the last 100 years women diplomats have been among them. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has emphasized that diversity and inclusion is a priority of the Biden administration. “Diversity and inclusion make us stronger, smarter, more creative and more …

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Six remarkable women honored posthumously

By  Lenore T. Adkins The National Women’s Hall of Fame has inducted six trailblazing Black women into its unique sisterhood, recognizing their contributions at the Seneca Falls, New York, birthplace of the American women’s rights movement. Its new Virtual Induction Series  celebrates underrepresented women of achievement. It does this by posthumously recognizing marginalized women who were overlooked during their lifetimes or died before …

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Religious Freedom Concerns in Russia

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON We are disturbed by reports that a Russian court sentenced Valentina Baranovskaya and her son, Roman Baranovsky, to terms of two and six years in a Russian penal colony, respectively, simply for being practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The sentencing of Valentina, a 69-year-old stroke victim, is particularly cruel.  It also marks the first …

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Black Americans elevated education, fought racism

Ted DeLaney arrived at Washington and Lee University as a janitor. By the time he left, he’d been chairman of its history department. DeLaney’s story is extraordinary, but his path is one shared by millions of Black Americans: Overcome prejudice, seize new opportunities, and contribute to your community and your nation. DeLaney was born and …

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Putting Human Rights at the Center of U.S. Foreign Policy

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States is committed to a world in which human rights are protected, their defenders are celebrated, and those who commit human rights abuses are held accountable. Promoting respect for human rights is not something we can do alone, but is best accomplished working with our allies and …

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National Museum of African American Music debuts in Nashville

By Noelani KirschnerSherry L. Brukbacher The history of Black American music in the United States spans four centuries, and now there’s a museum to honor that legacy. The  National Museum of African American Music  (NMAAM), which opened January 30 in Nashville,  Tennessee , calls itself “the only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the many music genres created, influenced and inspired by African Americans.” Divided …

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Arrest of Opposition Members in Georgia

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The United States is deeply troubled by the arrest of opposition leader Nika Melia and other members of the opposition in Georgia. Polarizing rhetoric, force and aggression are not the solution to Georgia’s political differences. We call on all sides to avoid actions that could further escalate tensions and to engage …

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Political Developments in Georgia

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The United States is deeply concerned by recent political developments in Georgia. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and avoid any actions or rhetoric that could escalate tensions or result in violence. We urge the Georgian government to act in line with its Euro-Atlantic aspirations and to reinforce its commitment to the principles of …

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African American trailblazers in diplomacy

African Americans’ contributions to U.S. diplomacy began in the late 19th century, when abolitionists Ebenezer Bassett and, later, Frederick Douglass were appointed as chiefs of mission to  Haiti  and the Dominican Republic. Since then,  African American diplomats  have served with distinction all over the world. Ralph Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for negotiating an Arab-Israeli …

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Why freedom of the press is important [video]

Freedom of the press is an essential right in the United States and a core principle of democracy. Protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,  a free press helps maintain the balance of power in government . Numerous journalists worldwide have been killed while working to fulfill their essential role in free and open societies. Watch this video to learn more about how other …

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How Maduro has destroyed life inside Venezuela

By Noelani Kirschner The misrule, oppression and corruption of the illegitimate regime headed by Nicolás Maduro has caused widespread economic suffering and societal collapse in Venezuela. The 2019–2020 National Survey of Living Conditions (ENCOVI, for Encuesta Nacional de Condiciones de Vida) — published by researchers at Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas — details how basic infrastructure, …

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U.S. sanctions on Venezuela explained

By Noelani Kirschner Since 2017, the U.S. has sanctioned people, businesses, and oil entities associated with the former Maduro regime, both inside and outside of Venezuela. Why are sanctions necessary and who actually feels their impact? U.S. sanctions are designed to ensure that Maduro and his cronies don’t profit from  illegal gold mining , state-operated oil operations, or other business …

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Advancing America’s long tradition of welcoming refugees

President Biden is ensuring the United States remains a safe haven for  refugees  and that those who apply to immigrate to the country under humanitarian programs are treated with dignity and respect. In a  February 4 executive order , Biden took steps to strengthen the  U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) , a collaboration between government and community groups that reflects America’s core value of taking …

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U.S. Decision to Reengage with the UN Human Rights Council

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The Biden administration has recommitted the United States to a foreign policy centered on democracy, human rights, and equality. Effective use of multilateral tools is an important element of that vision, and in that regard the President has instructed the Department of State to reengage immediately and robustly with …

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Observance of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The United States in recent years has joined the international community on February 6 in observing the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). The United States remains committed to ending this egregious human rights abuse and supporting survivors of FGM/C, both at home and around the world. According to the United …

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U.S. Holocaust Museum teaches the warning signs of genocide

Ever since the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum opened its doors in 1993, its scholars have been educating visitors about the horrors of Nazi Germany’s genocide of European Jews (and other targeted victims) leading up to and during World War II. But the Washington-based museum also has another important mission: helping the general public — as …

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The Sentencing of Russian Opposition Figure Aleksey Navalny

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States is deeply concerned by Russian authorities’ decision to sentence opposition figure Aleksey Navalny to two years and eight months imprisonment, replacing his suspended sentence with jail time. Like every Russian citizen, Mr. Navalny is entitled to the rights provided in the Russian constitution, and Russia has international obligations to respect equality before the …

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U.S. memorials honor civil rights hero Rosa Parks

The U.S. Air Force on December 1, 2020, the 65th anniversary of Parks’ 1955 protest, unveiled a sculpture of her at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, adding to an array of memorials that honor the civil rights icon, who died in 2005 at the age of 92. This year ShareAmerica is highlighting some of …

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Statement by President Joe Biden On Black History Month

This February, during Black History Month, I call on the American people to honor the history and achievements of Black Americans and to reflect on the centuries of struggle that have brought us to this time of reckoning, redemption, and hope. We have never fully lived up to the founding principles of this nation that …

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National Freedom Day: Deepening Our Resolve to Fight Human Trafficking

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today marks National Freedom Day, a day that commemorates President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the joint resolution that established the Constitution’s 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in the United States.  It is a day when, thanks to the decades-long push of Richard R. Wright and his fellow civil rights advocates, we commemorate our dedication to the …

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today we pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and reaffirm our commitment to oppose antisemitism, racism, and any other form of intolerance. January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945 by Soviet troops. It commemorates the genocide committed by the Nazi regime and its …

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G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Arrest and Detention of Alexey Navalny

OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON The text of the following statement was released by the G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union. Begin Text: We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United …

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U.S. Embassy Statement on Judgement of the European Court of Human Rights

In the state-to-state case of Georgia v. Russia on the 2008 Russia-Georgia War, the Court ruled clearly in favor of Georgia and found Russia responsible for violating multiple articles of the European Convention of Human Rights, including by detaining and torturing individuals, and denying Georgian citizens the right to return to their homes. The court …

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The United States Takes Further Action Against Enablers of Venezuelan Oil Transactions, Including Sanctions Evasion Network

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States has sanctioned three individuals and 11 entities for their ties to a network helping Nicolas Maduro and his illegitimate regime evade U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector.  This action builds on previous sanctions targeting individuals and entities involved in a sanctions-evasion scheme benefitting the illegitimate Maduro …

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Update on Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment

On January 13, the U.S. Department of State released the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative Annual Report for 2020.  The report outlined how W-GDP, the first-ever whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment, has reached more than 24 million women around the world in its first two years.  These beneficiaries were directly impacted by U.S. …

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Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

On the third Monday of January, Americans honor the life and achievements of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., (1929–1968), the 1964 Nobel Peace laureate, and the individual most associated with the triumphs of the African-American civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. As a political organizer, a supremely skilled orator, and advocate of …

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Arrest of Aleksey Navalny

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States strongly condemns Russia’s decision to arrest Aleksey Navalny. We note with grave concern that his detention is the latest in a series of attempts to silence Navalny and other opposition figures and independent voices who are critical of Russian authorities. Confident political leaders do not fear …

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Khamenei deprives Iranian people of COVID-19 vaccines

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is banning highly effective coronavirus vaccines from Iran because they are made in the United States and other Western countries. “I really do not trust” them, Khamenei said January 8, announcing the ban on two widely used vaccines produced in the United States and the United Kingdom,  the Associated Press reports . “Sometimes …

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At these schools, every day is Martin Luther King Day

By Lenore T. Adkins Americans will honor Martin Luther King Jr. this year on January 18, the date of the federal holiday commemorating the civil rights hero. But students from the Martin Luther King Jr. Academy for Boys in Toledo, Ohio, stand each and every day to pledge allegiance of the flag and to recite the school’s creed …

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Celebrating 20 years of refugee assistance [video]

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the State Department’s Julia Taft Fund for refugee protection and assistance. Over the past two decades, the U.S. government has awarded grants to nearly 800 local partners to help  refugees , returnees and host communities. Learn more about the Taft Fund in this video.

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How the Amistad helped America live up to its ideals

By Lenore T. Adkins In 1839, the Amistad cargo schooner sailed from Havana to Puerto Principe, Cuba, with 53 Africans bound for a life of slavery on the island. But while aboard the schooner, the Africans fought for their freedom. Their battle gained them a reprieve. And soon, American abolitionists would take up their fight in U.S. courts. The Africans …

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The United States Continues To Recognize Interim President Guaidó and the Last Democratically Elected National Assembly in Venezuela

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE On December 6, 2020, the illegitimate Maduro regime staged fraudulent legislative elections in Venezuela. Sixty countries around the world either came together to issue joint statements, including those released by the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, and the International Contact Group or issued their …

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Division for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions Iran

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is using big data and surveillance to target Uyghurs for detention based on behaviors that are allowed under the laws of the People’s Republic of China, such as studying the Quran or calling family abroad. Human Rights Watch says in a new report that the CCP uses its  Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP)  to scan …

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Violations of religious freedom persist worldwide

The United States is calling out “egregious violations” of religious freedom worldwide, as many regimes continue to criminalize expressions of religious faith. On December 7, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo designated the governments of Iran, China, North Korea and a half dozen other nations as “countries of particular concern” for engaging in or …

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Diversity is an essential component of the U.S. diplomatic corps

By Noelani Kirschner American diplomats represent U.S. values abroad and embody a core tenet of American life: diversity. In the United States, anyone — regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background — can become a diplomat and represent America abroad as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service. One of the many ways the …

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Six remarkable women honored posthumously

By Lenore T. Adkins The National Women’s Hall of Fame has inducted six trailblazing Black women into its unique sisterhood, recognizing their contributions at the Seneca Falls, New York, birthplace of the American women’s rights movement. Its new Virtual Induction Series  celebrates underrepresented women of achievement. It does this by posthumously recognizing marginalized women who were overlooked during their lifetimes or died before …

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Millions of Venezuelans vote for democracy

Venezuelans at home and abroad stood up for democracy, rejecting efforts by the illegitimate Maduro regime to exert authoritarian control over the National Assembly elections. The United States congratulated the Venezuelan opposition party — led by legitimate interim President Juan Guaidó — for successfully holding the consulta popular — or “ the people’s referendum ” — from December …

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What does January 1 signify in Lincoln’s legacy?

By   Lauren Monsen The  Emancipation Proclamation  is arguably one of the most important documents in the history of the United States. Abraham Lincoln himself stated that he considered it to be his greatest legacy. “I never in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper,” he said. “If my name …

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On the Silencing and Prosecution of PRC Citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States strongly condemns the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) sham prosecution and conviction of citizen journalist Zhang Zhan on December 28. We call on the PRC government to release her immediately and unconditionally. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has shown once again it will do whatever it …

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China’s leaders expand use of forced labor

The People’s Republic of China is expanding its use of forced labor, increasing the risk that countries may unknowingly import products made by people forced or otherwise coerced to work. Upwards of 100,000 Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minority groups may be working in forced conditions in China, according to the U.S. Department of …

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U.S. sanctions Iranian regime officials involved in kidnapping

The United States has imposed sanctions on two senior Iranian intelligence officers involved in the kidnapping and detention of Robert Levinson, the longest-held hostage in U.S. history. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on December 14 announced  sanctions against Mohammad Baseri and Ahmad Khazai , senior officials in Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, who were involved in Levinson’s abduction, detention and …

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Additions of Cuban Military-Owned Companies to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added three Cuban military-owned companies to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List).  All property and interests in property of these entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of …

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Additional Restrictions on the Issuance of Visas for People’s Republic of China Officials Engaged in Human Rights Abuses

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE China’s authoritarian rulers impose draconian restrictions on the Chinese people’s freedoms of expression, religion or belief, association, and the right to peaceful assembly.  The United States has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these are not welcome in our country. Today, I am announcing the imposition …

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The Free World’s Leadership Will Defeat COVID-19

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE It has now been a year since China first identified a patient in Wuhan stricken with an unknown pneumonia, now known as COVID-19. Since then, the United States and other free nations, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, have led a remarkable and unprecedented vaccine development effort that …

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This Week in Iran Policy

“I think we have demonstrated the right foreign policy with respect to Iran, and I am hopeful that the world will continue the policies that we have, and that one day Iran will rejoin the community of nations” – Secretary Pompeo, Interview with Ben Shapiro, December 15, 2020 Sanctioning Supporters of Iran’s Petroleum and Petrochemical …

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Expanded Clean Network initiative safeguards data

By Leigh Hartman The U.S. government’s expanded Clean Network initiative protects citizens’ privacy and companies’ sensitive information on 5G mobile networks and  secures data  across the full range of telecommunications and technology. The Clean Network initiative builds on and expands the  Clean Path , which is designed to  protect 5G networks from untrusted vendors . Since U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced the Clean Network, …

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Maduro’s sham election: ‘Those who don’t vote, won’t eat’

By Noelani Kirschner In the runup to its fraudulent December 6 National Assembly elections, the illegitimate Maduro regime showed how little it cares about ordinary Venezuelans, insinuating it might revoke their social benefits if they did not vote. Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed reservations about the Maduro regime threatening to take away …

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Sanctioning Supporters of Iran’s Petroleum and Petrochemical Sectors

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE Petroleum and petrochemicals are major sources of revenue for the Iranian regime, revenue it employs to oppress the Iranian people and to advance its malign foreign agenda. Today, the Department of State is imposing sanctions on Vietnam Gas and Chemicals Transportation Corporation, a vessel manager, pursuant to Executive Order …

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The United States Supports the Voices of the Venezuelan People

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE We congratulate the Venezuelan people on the success of the Consulta Popular or “People’s Referendum.”  Millions of Venezuelans came together to raise their voice and demand a democratic future for their country.  In every city and small town in Venezuela, as well as hundreds of sites serving the Venezuelan diaspora abroad, …

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Pompeo urges U.S. colleges to defend academic freedom

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo is urging American universities to defend against the Chinese Communist Party’s research theft and other threats to academic freedom. Speaking at Georgia Tech in Atlanta on December 9, Pompeo warned that the CCP’s theft of research to boost its military poses  risks for both universities and U.S. national security . He asked administrators, faculty and students …

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