[VOA Dale Gavlak has the details from Geneva) Various non-governmental organizations are urging the U-N Human Rights Commission to pressure China to improve its human rights record.

The groups argue Beijing's abuses have mounted against religious groups, minorities, labor organizers and pro-democracy activists.

Activists say they do not want a discussion on human rights violations in China to slip off of the U-N's agenda since the war in the Middle East is grabbing international headlines.

They argue Beijing is carrying out a crackdown affecting millions of its citizens. They say China is using the war on terrorism as an excuse to step up arrests, torture and executions of separatist Muslim Uighurs and Falun Gong practitioners.


A Falun Gong representative, Erping Zhang, says Chinese authorities have sent more than 150-thousand practitioners of the banned spiritual movement to forced labor camps or mental hospitals without trial.

Mr. Zhang alleges women are tortured and raped during detention to force them to renounce Falun Gong. Pregnant women have been subjected to forced late-stage abortion, as late as eight months pregnancy, rather than be released from jail to give birth to their child. In police custody, female practitioners have suffered from a variety of sexual abuse, such as being stripped naked and thrown into jail cells with male inmates.

The Falun Gong say more than five-thousand members have been arrested in the northern eastern city of Changchun last month, and 100 have died in custody.

The United States traditionally presents a resolution on China before the U-N-H-R-C, but it was voted off the commission last year. Diplomats say so far no other country seems prepared to challenge China's rights record despite persistent concerns over its alleged religious and political persecution.