The US State Department has released the 1997 version of country human rights practices reports for 194 countries around the world. The reports are issued to meet a statutory requirement of the Department, and cover countries that receive US foreign aid, as well as many countries that do not. The reports are produced by US embassies around the world, in collaboration with various State Department offices; they inform policy making and diplomatic decisions, among other activities. This major annual series of documents is watched closely by journalists, diplomats, and policy makers.
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