Hong Kong political expert Phillip Bowring said that though he was not aware of any relevant change in the legislation, "the authorities have long had powers to deny entry to nonresidents without giving reasons."
At the launch event for HRW's report in New York, a diplomat from China's mission to the U.N. lashed out at Roth.
"Given what you said, I think it's clear to all why you have been barred such entry," Xing Jisheng told Roth.
The Chinese diplomat said his country rejected the report's contents, which contained "prejudices and fabrications" about Beijing.
The report also failed to mention that China had lifted 700 million people out of poverty, the diplomat said.
Roth replied that it was easy to make claims of falsehoods, but that HRW worked carefully to report the facts.
HRW's annual report reviews human rights practices around the world. While this year's report spotlights China, it also points out rights abuses in countries including Syria and Yemen, where warring parties disregard rules designed to protect civilians.
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