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Rights Groups: Chinese Authorities Detain Associates of Freed Muslim Dissident

Authorities in China are said to have detained associates of a Muslim businesswoman who was released from prison two months ago and is now living in the United States.

Family members of ethnic Uighur dissident Rebiya Kadeer confirm the reports, which were issued by human rights groups. They say Chinese police have beaten and detained several employees of a trading company Ms. Kadeer owns in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Ms. Kadeer was freed on medical parole in March after spending 5.5 years in a Chinese prison. She was allowed to come to the United States, where she has continued to speak out against human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

A U.S. State Department official tells reporters Washington has raised concerns with the Chinese about the alleged harassment of Ms. Kadeer's associates in Xinjiang. At least one of her sons who is still in China has gone into hiding.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.