US focus of human rights report, with China and Russia

Human rights and freedom of the press in China, the detention of terrorist suspects by the United States and Russia's treatment of political dissent are the focus of scrutiny in Amnesty International's annual report, released this week, which looks at the state of human rights around the world.

Of the 150 countries and regions listed in the report, Amnesty paid particular attention to China, the host of this summer's Olympic Games. The group said growing numbers of human rights activists were imprisoned or harassed in China in 2007, with ethnic and religious minorities -- including Tibetans, Falun Gong practitioners and Christians -- repressed or persecuted.

As it has in previous annual reports, Amnesty criticized the detention of hundreds of foreign nationals at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "The USA must close Guantanamo detention camp and secret detention centers, prosecute the detainees under fair trial standards or release them, and unequivocally reject the use of torture and ill-treatment," Amnesty said.

In fact, more is written on the United States than any other country listed in the report. Asked about that at a press conference Tuesday, Khan said, "We certainly devote a lot of time to Sudan, to China, to Zimbabwe and other countries. But we look to the U.S. to provide leadership around the world. Governments around the world look to the United States as a role model for their own behavior."


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