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The government continued to draft and enact a series of new national security laws that presented serious threats to the protection of human rights. The nationwide crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists continued throughout the year. Activists and human rights defenders continued to be systematically subjected to monitoring, harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention. Police detained increasing numbers of human rights defenders outside of formal detention facilities, sometimes without access to a lawyer for long periods, exposing the detainees to the risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Booksellers, publishers, activists and a journalist who went missing in neighbouring countries in 2015 and 2016 turned up in detention in China, causing concerns about China’s law enforcement agencies acting outside their jurisdiction. Controls on the internet, mass media and academia were significantly strengthened. Repression of religious activities outside of direct state control increased. Religious repression conducted under “anti-separatism” or “counter-terrorism” campaigns remained particularly severe in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and in Tibetan-populated areas.

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Retains the death penalty in law

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