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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
China torture inspection delayed
Falun Gong members (archive)
Falun Gong members are among those China is accused of abusing
The UN says China has postponed a long-awaited inspection visit by its special rapporteur on torture which was due to have taken place in late June.

Beijing says that it needs more time to prepare and that this should be read as a sign of just how much importance it attaches to the visit.

The move has been criticised by a human rights group which says it raises questions about Beijing's sincerity.

The rapporteur, Theo van Boven, has said he regrets the postponement.

The trip has been under discussion for almost a decade and Mr van Boven was finally due to make his first tour of China at the end of June.

"The need for