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China’s human rights record deteriorated in some areas in 2008, according to a State Department assessment released just days after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared to downplay human rights as a priority in Washington’s engagement with Beijing.
“The government’s human rights record remained poor and worsened in some areas,” said the department’s annual report on human rights around the world, released on Wednesday.
“The government continued to monitor, harass, detain, arrest, and imprison journalists, writers, activists, and defense lawyers and their families, many of whom were seeking to exercise their rights under the law,” it said.
Also of concern was continuing coercion in China’s population control programs, “in some cases resulting in forced abortion or forced sterilization,” and the detention and forced repatriation of North Koreans who have fled into China.