File-Chinese paramilitary police. (Reuters)
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U.N. rights experts pressed senior Chinese officials Tuesday about persistent allegations that torture is rife in their police stations and prisons, especially of political prisoners, and about deaths in custody.China said it was working to combat torture but that it had not been eliminated.The United Nations Committee against Torture's examination of Beijing's record, the first since 2008, came after what the group Human Rights in China says has been "a year of massive crackdowns on rights activists and lawyers" on the mainland.Chinese government officials told the 10 independent experts that their country was working to eliminate torture including through better training of police and prison guards, and audio and video recordings of interrogations.Sleep deprivation remains lawful and mental torture is not explicitly banned.Other committee members asked how many Chinese law enforcement officials had been prosecuted for torture, whether victims had access to medical care or compensation, and why so many detainees were held in solitary confinement.
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