Clinton highlights religious freedom at human rights conference

DUBLIN (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. is pressing Egypt and other countries in transition to protect the rights of their religious minorities.

At a human rights conference in Ireland, Clinton said, "In many places in the past year, we've seen religious minorities become targets," and she said faith communities report "the pressure is rising."

Clinton stressed that religious liberty is essential because it entails other rights like freedom of thought, speech and assembly.

As Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi vowed to press ahead with a Dec. 15 referendum on a disputed constitution, Clinton said the people of Egypt deserve a document "that protects the rights of all Egyptians, men and women, Muslim and Christian."

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