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U.S. Says China, Iran 'Most Systematic' Rights Violators


Two men are hanged in Iran (file photo) (epa) March 8, 2006 -- In its annual report on human rights worldwide, the U.S. State Department criticized China and Iran for alleged gross human rights violations, branding them among the "most systematic" rights violators.

The study, which has been published each year since 1977, offers a comprehensive analysis of all countries in the world.


The report says repression in China increased in 2005, with a trend toward "increased harassment, detention, and imprisonment" of people seen as threats to the government. It says China adopted measures to control more tightly print, broadcast, and electronic media, and censored online content.


On Iraq, the report says the government's human rights performance was "handicapped" by the insurgency and terrorism. It says there were increased reports of killings by the government or its agents that may have been politically motivated. It also says common criminals, insurgents, and terrorists undermined public confidence in the security apparatus by sometimes masking their identity in police and army uniforms.


The report's introduction calls particular attention to six countries where restrictions on rights were said to be severe: North Korea, Myanmar, Iran, Zimbabwe, and Cuba, in addition to China.


The United States does not include itself in the human rights survey, despite reports of human rights abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


(AP, AFP)


For an overview of the State Department report, click here.

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