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China, North Korea, Burma Get Low Human Rights Ratings


The U.S. State Department says China, North Korea, and Burma are among the major violators of human rights in East Asia.

In the Department's annual human rights report, the State Department said China continues to punish citizens who speak out against the government or appear to threaten its authority.

It said last year the government suppressed 15th-anniversary commemorations of the Tiananmen Square massacre and deported numerous North Korean defectors back to their homeland, where they risk persecution.

The report calls North Korea one of the world's most repressive and brutal regimes. It says there continue to be reports of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and torture.

It says North Koreans are denied freedoms of speech, the press, assembly, and association, and it notes that human trafficking is widespread.

Meanwhile in Burma, the report says, what was already an extremely poor human rights situation has worsened. Democracy leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo continue under house arrest after almost two years.

Other Burmese citizens are subject to arbitrary arrest, with many detained in secret. Security forces have reportedly raped, beaten, and otherwise abused detainees.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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