04/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Head Of Olympic Committee: China Must Improve Human Rights

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, offered a rare rebuke to the Chinese government on Thursday, calling on the authorities to respect its "moral engagement" to improve human rights and to provide the news media with greater access to the country ahead of the Beijing Games.

Mr. Rogge's comments on China, made at a news conference here during which he described the protests that have dogged the torch relay as a "crisis" for the organization, were a departure from his previous statements that strenuously avoided any mention of politics.

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