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Amnesty Report Says E Asian Rights Development Did Not Match Economic Growth in 2006


In its newly-released annual report, Amnesty International says East Asia's human rights development fell far short of acceptable standards in 2006, despite growing economic success in the region.

In China, Amnesty says a number of lawyers and journalists were harassed, detained and tortured, while arbitrary detention and unfair trials were widespread. The report says thousands of people who practiced their religion outside officially sanctioned churches were subject to imprisonment.

The report says human rights abuses are rampant in Burma. Amnesty says military operations against the Karen National Union increased, and it criticized the country for forced labor and the continued detention of political prisoners, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Amnesty accused the Philippines of abandoning a long-standing peace process between the government and the National Democratic Front to launch an offensive against communist rebels.

The report praises Cambodia for reforming its controversial criminal defamation law, and the Philippines and South Korea were applauded for taking steps toward abolishing the death penalty.

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