Human Rights Groups Demand IOC Strip Beijing of 2022 Winter Olympics


The call comes as China faces increased global scrutiny and backlash over its clampdown in Hong Kong, the mass internment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, and clashes on the Tibet border with India.

The demand was contained in a letter signed by over 160 groups and addressed to the IOC president.

The missive warned the 2022 Games “could contribute to more repression” in China even as the ruling Communist dictatorship sought to make them a pageant of national power and prestige.

It comes two months after the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), an advocacy group for the ethnic minority native to western China, issued a call of its own for the IOC to revoke hosting privileges from Beijing, as Breitbart News reported.

The latest move charged that after the 2008 Summer Olympic Games were awarded to Beijing, there was a “gross increase on the assault on communities living under its rule”.

The groups cited the internment of Uighurs in Xinjiang and the controversial new security law in Hong Kong as examples. The letter said:

Despite appeals… the IOC has repeated the same mistakes as the past and remained unresponsive to evidence of the sharp decline in human rights protections before and after the 2008 Games in Beijing.

The IOC must recognise that the Olympic spirit and the reputation of the Olympic Games will suffer further damage if the worsening human rights crisis, across all areas under China’s control, is simply ignored.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to the letter, but has previously fiercely defended its rights record. It maintains policies in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong are key to national security and social stability.

Among the letter’s signatories are Uighur, Tibetan, Hong Kong and Mongolian rights groups based in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Australia.

Beijing last hosted a round of Olympic Games, the Summer Olympics, in 2008. Those games were marred by a damning report revealing China used child labor to generate cheap souvenirs and licensed products to sell to tourists.

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