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China Rejects US Report on Human Rights

  • VOA News

Beijing is rejecting an annual report by the U.S. State Department that says China's human rights record worsened during the past year.

The State Department report released Thursday categorized the human rights condition in China as "extremely poor," saying authorities were stepping up efforts to stifle dissent and restrict freedom of speech.



Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei on Friday dismissed the report, saying it is "filled with prejudice." He said it is the Chinese people who are best able to speak about their human rights conditions.

Beijing each year rejects the report as interference in its internal affairs.

The report said Chinese authorities are increasingly resorting to extralegal measures such as house arrest and forced disappearances to silence political activists and other dissidents.

The report was issued just weeks after blind Chinese dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng escaped house arrest and fled to U.S. diplomatic protection, sparking a high-profile diplomatic standoff.

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Chen, who was allowed last week to travel to the U.S. to study law, on Thursday slammed Chinese authorities for what he called the "despicable" retribution against his family and supporters back in China. He made his comments during an interview with CNN.

His nephew - Chen Kegui - was charged with attempted murder following a clash last month with officials who burst into his home after discovering that his uncle had escaped. His family says he acted in self-defense and says the charges are retaliation for Chen's escape.

Meanwhile, the blind activist's brother - Chen Guangfu - fled his tightly guarded village in northeast China on Thursday to seek legal advice for his son, who has been appointed two government lawyers.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei refused to comment on Chen Guangfu's case, which appears to be the second dramatic escape from the police guarding the blind dissident's family in less than a month.

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