China rulers 'silencing dissent'

Submitted by ram on Fri, 10/12/2007 - 12:13am.

China rulers 'silencing dissent'

By Steve Jackson

BBC East Asia analyst

China has intensified efforts to silence dissent in the run-up to a key Communist Party Congress next week, human rights groups say.

The campaigners say the authorities have been arresting, abducting and intimidating activists to prevent them from staging protests.

China has stepped up security ahead of the Beijing meeting.

The congress will determine the direction the country takes for the next five years.

The 17th Communist Party congress is a major event in China.

It will reveal how the power balance between rival factions is changing, who the country's future leaders are likely to be and what the party's policy priorities are for the coming years.

The Chinese authorities do not want this showpiece occasion to be overshadowed by protests.

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Submitted by ram on Fri, 10/12/2007 - 12:13am.