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Amnesty says China must improve rights

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LONDON — Amnesty International said on Friday China must improve its human rights policies now that Beijing has been awarded the 2008 Olympic Games.

"The Chinese government must prove it is worthy of staging the games by upholding their Olympic spirit of fair play and extending respect for universal, fundamental, ethical principles to the people of China," Amnesty said in a statement released in London.

The human rights group said Chinese authorities had executed more people in the past three months than the rest of the world put together in the last three years.

It estimated that 1,700 alleged criminals had been put to death since April.

"Ironically, sports stadiums were the last places where many of those condemned to death were taken, to be subjected to ritual public humiliation in front of large crowds, just before being executed," Amnesty said.

It said dissidents had been detained or harassed, religious and ethnic minorities faced continuous repression and labour activists and farmers who protested against corruption were also targetted.