"We must be wary of the steel vise in which governments around the world are slowly crushing civil society and the human spirit," Clinton said.
At the international conference of democracy and human rights in Poland, she recalled Winston Churchill's warning 60 years ago that an iron curtain was descending across Europe. She noted that with the collapse of the Soviet Union that curtain no longer remains.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan ‘s President Ilham Aliyev wished Clinton a happy Independence Day and then stressed the urgency of his country’s territorial dispute with neighboring Armenia. The two nations are in conflict since a 1994 cease-fire.
Clinton said her current trip began in Ukraine and is to include stops in the former Soviet states of Armenia and Georgia. The objective is to demonstrate the Obama administration's commitment to democracy and human rights.
She recommended that the Community of Democracies set up an independent means of monitoring repressive measures against social advocacy groups, and that the U.N. Human Rights Council do more to protect civil society. She announced that the U.S. would contributed $2 million to support the work of embattled non-governmental organizations.
(Source : Yahoo! News)