In the U.S. State Department’s recently released human rights report, China was no longer included among the top ten worst offenders. The New York Times’ Helene Cooper reports that the annual report did say that China’s “overall human rights record remained poor.”
China, the report said, tightened media and Internet curbs and increased controls on religious freedom in Tibet and the Xinjiang region. The report said China’s abuses also included “extrajudicial killings, torture and coerced confessions of prisoners, and the use of forced labor.”
This move is seen as a major setback for human rights organizations, who have been striving especially hard in these last five months before the Games to improve the status of human rights in China. This decision was announced even as it was learned that some one hundred Tibetan monks have been arrested and Chinese authorities are refusing to release activist Hu Jia and dozens of other freedom of expression advocates.