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Accusations of arresting 'dissidents' dismissed
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A Beijing Olympic Games spokesman on Monday dismissed as "groundless" recent accusation by some overseas organizations and figures that China arrested so-called "dissidents" to ensure security of the August Games.

"To ensure the hosting of a successful Olympic Games, and to ensure the safety of foreign athletes and visitors, China has indeed taken a series of necessary, legitimate and reasonable security measures. This falls in line with routines of previous Olympic Games and major international sports events," the spokesman told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

"lt's unnecessary to arrest so-called 'dissidents' for the sake of the Olympic Games. The accusation is untrue," he said.

"Several overseas organizations and figures accuse China of arresting some 'dissidents' for the sake of the security of the Olympic Games, and call for release of 'dissidents' under custody. Such claims are groundless."

He pointed out China was dedicated to enhancing and protecting human rights and some basic freedoms, including freedom of speech.

Over the years, especially since the start of the reform and opening-up drive in 1978, China had achieved remarkable progress in economic and social development. The living standards of Chinese citizens had significantly improved, he said.

The rights and freedom enjoyed by Chinese in accordance to the law were under full protection, which was well recognized by unbiased people in other parts of the world, the spokesman said.

China is a country under the rule of law, and it is clearly stated in the Chinese Constitution that citizens enjoy freedom of speech, publication, gathering, association and demonstration, he noted.

Because of this, no one would receive punishment just because of their speech, he said.

Some people received penalties because they had undertaken illegal activities that violated Chinese laws, and their criminal activities had been confirmed through strict legal procedure, the spokesman said.

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