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Albania: Government's Respect For Human Rights Improves

Washington, 26 February 1999 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. State Department says it saw some improvement in the Albanian government's respect for human rights last year.

The State Department says in its annual reports on human rights conditions around the world, released today, that Albania made progress in hand with the gradual quieting of the massive civil unrest of 1997. However, the report notes problems persisted in several areas.

The U.S. said Albania remained a poor country in transition from command to free-market economics and is struggling with high unemployment and 10 percent inflation.

The State Department report cited instances of police brutality and judicial corruption.

However, the report said there was improvement in the government's respect for press freedom and freedom of assembly. But the U.S. said the gains in human rights were largely offset by what it called the government's stubbornly passive approach to basic law enforcement.