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Amnesty chides China on rights progress ahead of 2008 Olympics

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] said Thursday that China [JURIST news archive] has not been working quickly enough [Amnesty press release] to meet its promise to improve human rights in the country in order to host the 2008 Olympic Games [official website] in Beijing. Amnesty said China's overall record was poor, and suggested that although progress had been made in some areas, rights protection had deteriorated in others, citing the executions of thousands of people following unfair trials and China's retrenchment against full Internet and press freedom. The rights group shared its findings with the International Olympic Committee [official website] and said China will need to increase its efforts to meet its pledge to the committee.

China called the allegations "groundless," saying Amnesty is biased and has ulterior motives in releasing such information. A spokesperson for the Olympic committee said it is still unclear whether China will be able to meet the 2008 deadline when it still has two years to comply and also indicated that the committee is not in a position to pressure governments. Reuters has more.

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