China defended its human rights record to the UN on Tuesday, insisting it was abiding by its obligations and cooperating with inquiries. Last week a group of independent UN rights experts issued a report [JURIST report] expressing concern over harassment of activists for their attempts to participate in a UN human rights assessment of China. In response to such criticism, Chinese representatives claimed [Reuters report] that these accusations were based on misunderstandings and prejudices.
China has been under scrutiny for its human rights record. In August Chinese writer, lawyer and human rights advocate Yang Maodong, commonly known by his pen-name Guo Feixiong [HRIC profile], became the second leader of the New Citizens movement to be arrested [JURIST report] on suspicion of disrupting the peace. In June a Chinese court in Huairou on sentenced [JURIST report] Liu Hui, brother-in-law of the Nobel Peace Prize winner and democracy activist Liu Xiaobo [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], to 11 years in prison on charges of fraud. In May China's Nanjing Intermediate People's Court issued a life sentence to Huang Sheng, the former provincial deputy governor of Shandong Province, for accepting almost $2 million in bribes from 21 organizations and numerous individuals between 1998 and 2011.