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U.S. Rights Report Points Finger At China

An Internet cafe in Qingdao (file photo) (epa) PRAGUE, March 9, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- In its annual report on human rights worldwide, the U.S. State Department says repression in China increased in 2005.

The report, which was issued on March 8, says the Chinese government continues to commit numerous and serious abuses. It notes what it calls a trend toward heightened "harassment, detention, and imprisonment" of people seen as threats to the government.

It cites torture and degrading treatment of prisoners, and arbitrary arrests and detentions.

The report also says that China has adopted tighter measures to control print, broadcast, and electronic media, and to censor online content.

However, the State Department assessment also sees positive rights developments during the year. One is that the government gave back authority to approve death sentences to the Supreme People's Court.

Another is that the National People's Congress adopted amendments to the law protecting women and outlawing sexual harassment. The government ratified an international convention prohibiting discrimination in employment. The government also hosted visits by international human rights monitors.

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