The United States says basic freedoms of expression and free association are on the decline around the world, making it harder for opposition groups and human rights activists to organize.

That’s the conclusion of the State Department’s annual human rights report being released Friday.

The report says there are growing crackdowns on the media and internet freedom and suppression of political opposition groups. It says “civil society” groups that represent different sectors of a population have less room to operate.

The State Department says it doesn’t rank or compare countries, although the report includes specific information about conditions in each country.

Human rights groups and some lawmakers are criticizing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for declining to speak publicly about the report or to promote it.


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