UN rights envoy was followed in China, sources intimidated

A U.N. envoy on human rights says he was followed by security officers during an official trip to China and that some civil society representatives he met with were intimidated and faced reprisals.

Philip Alston, a U.N. special rapporteur, said the Chinese government's conduct was at odds with the need for U.N. experts to have the freedom to assess situations and preserve source confidentiality.

He details difficulties in a final report on his mission to China in August, which was emailed to The Associated Press on Tuesday. It is to be delivered to the U.N. Human Rights Council in June.

Alston's report says the Chinese government warned him not to make direct contact with civil society organizations to arrange meetings, and requested full details of private meetings.