US ‘takes seriously’ reports of China rights clampdown

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States is taking seriously reports that Chinese activists were subjected to a clampdown ahead of US-China talks this week on a range of human rights issues, a spokesman said Tuesday.
“We take these reports seriously. And we’re going to look into them,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

McCormack was responding to reporters’ questions about information from the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), relayed to Washington through the US-based AIDS victim group Critical Path.

CHRD reportedly said that Chinese authorities placed numerous activists under increased surveillance ahead of talks in Beijing this week between US and Chinese officials, the first such dialogue on human rights since 2002.

Among the cases cited by Chinese activists was Zeng Jinyan, who is a blogger, activist and wife of jailed dissident Hu Jia. She reportedly was visited on Friday and Saturday by authorities who barred her from leaving the house.[continues…]

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