Fri, Mar 10, 2006 - Page 1 News List

China hits back at US over rights report

AP , BEIJING

China yesterday lashed out against US criticism of its human-rights record, saying racial discrimination and crime were still rife in the US and prisoners abused at US-run detention centers.

The State Council denounced the US for what it called rampant violence and widespread discrimination against minorities -- especially blacks -- in its annual response to the State Department's report on human rights worldwide.

"For a long time, the life and security of the people of the United States has not been under efficient protection," the Chinese report said.

Blacks are given heavier criminal penalties, arrested more frequently and are more likely to be targeted for hate crimes, it said.

It also criticized US troops for alleged brutality at prisons in Iraq and the detention camp for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

The response came one day after the State Department said the Chinese government's human-rights record "remained poor, and the government continued to commit numerous and serious abuses."

The US report said repression worsened in China last year, with a trend toward "increased harassment, detention and imprisonment" of people seen as threats to the Chinese government.

It also mentioned tightened controls over print, broadcast and electronic media and censorship of online content.

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