U.N. rights experts pressed senior Chinese officials on 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.

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