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China says US religious freedom report skewed

[JURIST] Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Tuesday that a report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom [official website] that accused China of imprisoning and torturing people based on their religion was ignorant and prejudiced. In a statement [text, in Chinese] posted on the Foreign Ministry's website, Jiang said that the report was distorted in its attack on Chinese policy, and maintained that China [JURIST news archive] protects its citizens' freedom of religion.

Last week, the Commission released [JURIST report] its annual report on worldwide religious freedom [PDF text]. The report stated that "All religious groups in China face some restrictions, monitoring, and surveillance, however, and religious freedom conditions deteriorated for communities not affiliated with one of the seven government-approved religious organizations." Also last week, Chinese Human Rights Defenders [advocacy website] criticized [JURIST report] the Chinese government for continuing to persecute and intimidate human rights defenders such as lawyers, academics and journalists in a report issued on the anniversary of the 1919 May Fourth Movement [Wikipedia backgrounder]. AP has more.

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