A United Nations rights investigator says torture remains widespread in China, and he has accused government officials there of obstructing his fact-finding mission.
In Beijing on Friday, U.N. envoy on torture Manfred Nowak said that during his 12-day visit he was granted access to prisoners who allege they were abused. But he was not allowed to bring photographic or electronic equipment into prisons to document his findings.
Mr. Nowak said he was aware of a high level of fear and self-censorship in his interviews with detainees. He also said officials monitored his interviews with family members of prisoners.
The U.N. official told journalists that while the use of torture in China has declined somewhat, the country's legal system needs a major overhaul in order for the situation to improve.
Mr. Nowak's visit to China included stops in Tibet and the Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang. The trip came only after 10 years of negotiations.