BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The China Society for Human Rights Studies on Wednesday criticized Amnesty International's comments on the country's human rights record in the run-up to the Olympics.
"We firmly oppose attempts by any organization to slander and attack China under the pretense of human rights, and firmly oppose the attempts by any organization to put pressure on China using the Olympics," the private non-governmental organization said in a statement.
London-based Amnesty International issued a report on Tuesday that assailed China's human rights record, criticized its handling of unrest in Tibet and urged the International Olympic Committee and world leaders to pressure China.
"Turning a blind eye to the development and achievements of China's human rights, the report wantonly distorts and groundlessly censures China's human rights record, which is not at all objective, fair or acceptable," the Chinese organization said in its statement.
"Amnesty International has all along held political prejudice against and a hostile attitude toward China, which was again proven by its serious distortion and malicious slander of China's human rights [situation] and the government's handling of the Tibetan violence according to the law," the statement said.
The Chinese group's statement said that China is a country governed according to the law, and that it will never submit to groundless censure by organizations or forces.
"The Chinese people are firmly opposed to the politicization of the Olympics, and they have confidence in and the capability of hosting a high-caliber Olympics with distinction, which no organization or individuals can stop," it said.
The China Society for Human Rights Studies said in the statement that the Chinese government has always attached great importance to safeguarding human rights, just as the country had made outstanding progress regarding its economy, politics, culture and society.
The society pointed out that "respect for and protection of human rights" had, for the first time, been enshrined in the Constitution in March 2004. The concept had thus become a major theme of the country's social development.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, it said, the Chinese government had greatly improved the lives of its citizens, who now numbered 1.3 billion.
It had helped 230 million rural people lift themselves out of poverty, made nine-year compulsory education universal in the countryside and steadily promoted social equality and justice.
"The Chinese people are enjoying more protection of their rights to survive and develop, of their civil rights and political rights, and of their economic, social and cultural rights than before, which is obvious to all countries, organizations and persons without prejudice," it said.
The agency acknowledged that China, as a developing country, still needed to make further progress with regard to human rights.
"We hold that international dialogue and cooperation on human rights should be carried out on the basis of equality and mutual respect, thus making concerted efforts to promote the human rights cause," it said.