Beijing Olympic organizers refute rights criticism from US House

Society Materials 31 July 2008 13:43 (UTC +04:00)

The organizers of the Beijing Olympics on Thursday rejected criticism from the US House of Representatives, which accused China of cracking down on dissidents ahead of the Games, reported dpa.

Sun Weide, spokesman for the Beijing organizing committee, said in Beijing that the committee opposed any attempts to politicize the August 8-24 Games and argued that preparations for the competition had "promoted the social and economic progress in China, especially in Beijing."

His comments came a day after the lower chamber of the US Congress voted 419-1 for a resolution that called on China to "immediately" end human rights abuses ahead of the Summer Olympics.

"In exchange for the privilege of hosting the Olympic Games, the Chinese government made commitments on freedom of the press, human rights and on the environment," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. "Many of these commitments have been violated repeatedly and blatantly."

China's human rights record has come under increased scrutiny ahead of the Games, and civil rights groups have alleged Beijing has used the need to provide security as a pretext for pressuring political dissidents.