Human-rights abuses by Chinese authorities in Tibet have increased in the last few years, and the lifting of martial law in Llasa this month did nothing to ease repression there, according to a new report by the human-rights group Asia Watch.

The report, scheduled to be released today, comes at a time when moves are underway in Congress to reverse President Bush's decision last week to renew China's most-favored-nation trade status. Bush, in announcing his decision, praised China for lifting martial law in Tibet and restoring U.S. consular access to the region.

Diplomats and others have said Beijing's decision to lift martial law in the Tibetan capital was partly aimed at influencing the decision on China's trade status.

The Asia Watch report said that Chinese authorities lifted martial law in Lhasa on May 1 because "the level of repression is secure enough as to no longer require a conspicuous military role in suppressing dissent."

According to Asia Watch, there is no indication that the lifting of martial law has led to the release of any political prisoners.

In addition, "the reports that come out of Tibet show that the incidence of serious torture is at least as bad as it has been for years, and in some cases, it seems worse," said Robin Munro, who monitors China for the group.

The group criticized the Bush administration for failing to acknowledge the severity of human-rights violations in China, adding that the situation in Tibet "appears in retrospect as having been something of a testing ground for the PRC {People's Republic of China} authorities in the 1980s . . . in how best to forcefully suppress dissent and then deal with international reaction."

Beijing, which rules Tibet, contends the region is an inalienable part of China, but many Tibetans favor independence or greater autonomy. In recent years, Buddhist monks and nuns have led numerous independence demonstrations.

When police opened fire on protesters in Lhasa on March 5, 1989, three days of rioting followed, prompting authorities to impose martial law in Lhasa for the first time in 30 years.

Arrests of Tibetan political dissidents then increased, with "at least several hundred Tibetans" taken into custody, the report said. Tibetans and Chinese officials said late last year that Lhasa's prisons held more than 680 Tibetans accused of involvement in pro-independence activities. Almost half of those were said to be monks, nuns and novices.

The imprisonment of Tibetans who advocate independence for Tibet remains "a particularly serious area of human-rights violations," the report said, and it described the continuing use of torture in Tibetan prisons. Nuns in custody are alleged to have been beaten and attacked by dogs and subjected to torture with electric cattle prods applied to their genitals, it said.