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Group criticizes China's human rights record

Group criticizes China's human rights record

Human Rights Watch says China has broken promises made to Olympic organizers to improve human rights, with leaders in Beijing instead tightening restrictions on their citizens' freedoms.
The prominent independent rights group said in its annual report, released Wednesday, that China, in the months leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, cracked down on activists and minorities and obstructed the work of civil society organizations.
Frustrated, and "with nowhere else to turn, people increasingly are taking to the streets, with tens of thousands of public protests, at times violent, now taking place across China each year," the group said.
The report also noted a "sharply deteriorated" situation in Tibet, where China staged a massive crackdown after riots broke out in March in the region's capital, Lhasa, and spread throughout Tibetan areas of western China.
A message left with the Chinese Embassy was not immediately returned, but China has rejected past reports as biased.
In Myanmar, an "already dismal human rights record" got worse last year after a huge cyclone killed more than 84,000 people. Human Rights Watch criticized the military-run government for blocking international attempts to help; it said Myanmar "systematically denies citizens basic freedoms, including freedom of expression, association and assembly."
India was said to lack the will to implement laws designed to protect its citizens' rights. "There is a pattern of denial of justice and impunity, whether it is in cases of human rights violations by security forces or the failure to protect women, children and marginalized groups," the report said.
North Korea's human rights situation was said to be dire, with no political opposition, independent labor unions, free media or civil society.
"North Korea runs large prison camps where hundreds of thousands of its citizens, including children, are enslaved in deplorable conditions," the report said. "Periodically, the government publicly executes individuals for stealing state property, hoarding food and other 'anti-socialist' crimes."
The group said reports of leader Kim Jong Il's failing health, "if true, could have far-reaching consequences for human rights and governance in North Korea" because of the power Kim wields.


Updated : 2021-04-21 14:38 GMT+08:00