China, N. Korea Reject U.N. Rights Abuse Charge

Communist neighbors the People's Republic of China and North Korea vehemently denied that their governments engage in systematic torture of political and criminal detainees as claimed by the United Nations.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Qui Gang called the document by the United Nations Committee Against Torture "untrue and slanderous," and retorted that China values human rights and opposes torture, according to The New York Times.

The Chinese government also accused the 10-member committee of independent experts of being biased and guilty of fabrication.

"To our regret, some biased committee members, in drafting the observations, chose to ignore the substantial materials provided by the Chinese Government," Qin said in a statement posted Monday on the ministry's Web site.

He added that committee members "even fabricated some unverified information."

The U.N. report, issued on Friday, detailed widespread abuse in China's legal system, including using different means to force confessions. It also documented the existence of "secret prisons," harassment of human rights lawyers, government use of re-education through labor, practice of torture, and courts handing out arbitrary prison sentences to dissidents.

Despite China's denial of rights abuse, the report nonetheless is an embarrassment to the Communist government that is desperately seeking to be recognized as a respectable world leader.

The U.N.'s critical report comes on the heels of a U.S. Congressional report released last week that criticized China for failing to fulfill its pledge to improve human rights before and during the Olympic Games.

China was criticized by the United States for "illegal detentions and harassment" of dissidents in the report.

Similar to China's reaction, communist ally North Korea also rejected the U.N. charge over its human rights violation.

On Friday, the U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee approved a resolution that condemned the erratic government's human rights record. South Korea co-sponsored the resolution.

But North Korea's foreign ministry claimed the resolution is full of fabrications that seek to suppress the communist state, according to The Associated Press. The statement was carried Monday by the official Korean Central News Agency.

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