China slams US rights record in response to US State Department report

[JURIST] The Chinese State Council said Thursday that a US Department of State report [text] critical of the Chinese human rights record is hypocritical given the number of human rights problems in the US. In a report entitled the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2007 [text; JURIST report], the Chinese detail alleged human rights violations by the US, saying that:

The United States has always adopted double standards on human rights issues. It frequently exerts pressure on other countries to invite the UN special rapporteur to exam and report on the status of their human rights status, but itself has never done so. The United States requests others to obey the UN norms that allow special rapporteurs to visit any place and talk with any one without interference or surveillance, but itself has rejected such norms and has turned down the request for a joint visit to the military base at Guantanamo Bay from several special rapporteurs.
Russia also condemned [AP report; press release] that US State Department's report on human rights in Russia [text] as biased, suggesting that "the State Department just hand-picked material to fit pre-articulated conclusions."

The US State Department country report on China, released Tuesday, said that the Chinese human rights situation in 2007 "remained poor," as China tightened controls on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the treatment of political dissidents. The State Department prepares Country Reports on Human Rights Practices [materials] each year in compliance with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [PDF text], which requires such reports on countries receiving US assistance and countries that are members of the UN. AP has more. Xinhua has local coverage.

 

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