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Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 15:37 UK

China urged to name quake victims

Mourners attend a memorial service for quake victims in Beichuan, Sichuan province
Nearly one year on, mourners remember victims of the earthquake

A Chinese state newspaper has urged the government to release a full list of people killed in last year's massive earthquake in the country's southwest.

The Southern Metropolitan Daily said the government's new human rights action plan demanded such a disclosure.

It also called on officials to trust and respect volunteers collecting information on the quake, which left more 80,000 people dead or missing.

Police recently detained an activist trying to list the child victims.

Tan Zuoren was trying to compile the list as part of an investigation into whether poor construction caused schools to collapse during the quake.

Human rights groups said the detention was part of a broader crackdown in Sichuan province, ahead of the first anniversary of the disaster.

International criticism

Beijing has yet to make victims' names public, and officials have never released a figure for the number of children who died.

The call by the Southern Metropolitan Daily - a popular newspaper with an outspoken reputation - comes the same week China released a human rights action plan.

The two-year plan promises the communist government will do more to prevent illegal detention and torture, and to protect minorities and women.

It makes sweeping promises that journalists and bloggers will be allowed to collect information freely, in accordance with the law, and the government will be more transparent.

Beijing's plan follows international criticism of its rights record.



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