China to Defend Human-Rights Record to U.N.

Human Rights Watch calls recent years "one of China's major crackdowns on activists and free expression"

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Denis Balibouse / Reuters

Members of the Students for a Free Tibet organization display a banner on scaffolding in front of the European headquarters of the U.N. in Geneva on Oct. 22, 2013

Amid criticism of a worsening crackdown on dissent, China will defend its human-rights record before a U.N. panel on Tuesday. It will be the Asian superpower’s second hearing at the Human Rights Council, which calls upon each country every four years, Voice of America reports.

Human Rights Watch states that recent years have seen “one of China’s major crackdowns on activists and free expression,” citing among other things the disappearance a month ago of activist Cao Shunli, the country’s pervasive culture of media censorship and extensive abuses in Tibetan and Uighur areas.

Beijing has welcomed the discussion but warns that it will not accept interference in internal affairs. At the last hearing in 2009, officials rejected practically every recommendation made by U.N. member states.