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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Annual U.S. Human Rights Report Targets Abuses in China, Nigeria

WASHINGTON -- China's security apparatus has succeeded in silencing all public dissent against the Communist Party and government, the State Department said Thursday in a global human rights report that also found deplorable rights conditions in Nigeria, Cuba and Burma.


"The Chinese government in 1996 continued to commit widespread and well-documented human rights abuses, in violation of internationally accepted norms, stemming from the authorities' intolerance of dissent, fear of unrest and the continuing absence of laws protecting basic freedoms," the report said.


The criticism is contained in an overview of the report, which is distributed annually and examines human rights conditions worldwide.


Release of the report coincided with an announcement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will visit China next month.


While criticizing China's human rights record, Albright has said that the U.S. relationship with China is too important to be held hostage to human rights or any other single issue.


The report said: "All public dissent against party and government was effectively silenced by intimidation, exile or the imposition of prison terms, administrative detention or house arrest."


On Nigeria, the report said the human rights performance of the military government "remains dismal."


Throughout the year, the government of General Sani Abacha "regularly relied on arbitrary detention, arrests, and wide-scale harassment to silence its many critics," the report said.


The report said Cuba "remains a totalitarian anachronism, where human rights deteriorated in 1996 and suppression of dissent worsened."


On Burma, the report said authorities there stepped up systematic repression of human rights despite formally ending the house arrest of the nation's leading pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.