China Off US Rights Blacklist

State Dept. report drops China from top 10 worst abusers despite poor record
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2008 10:26 AM CDT
Protestors carry signs outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Monday, March 10, 2008. Tibetan immigrants united in prayer in front of City Hall to protest San Francisco's hosting of the Olympic torch...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The State Department has taken China off its list of the world's 10 worst human rights abusers, the New York Times reports. China's human rights record "remained poor," the department's annual report said, with abuses including "extrajudicial killings, torture, and coerced confessions of prisoners." Officials declined to explain why the country was dropped from the list or whether it had anything to do with the Beijing Olympics.

The report singled out North Korea, Myanmar, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Eritrea, and Sudan as the 10 worst offenders, and also highlighted many human rights violations in Russia. Human rights groups blasted the decision. “US authorities are depriving themselves of yet another effective way to pressure China," said one. "Without having achieved any good-will gesture from Beijing.”