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  • Human rights groups call for 2022 Olympics to be moved from Beijing, citing Chinese abuse of Uighurs

    Human rights groups call for 2022 Olympics to be moved from Beijing, citing Chinese abuse of Uighurs

    A coalition of human rights groups sent the International Olympic Committee a letter ahead of the body's Wednesday meeting demanding that it rescind its offer to Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

    H/T: Washington Examiner

    Calling the decision a "mistake," the letter pointed to China's "Orwellian surveillance network" used to monitor and harass ethnic minorities in Tibet and to persecute Uighurs, a Muslim minority, most of whom live in Xinjiang province. The letter also cited China's increasing hostility to Hong Kong and Taiwan in a list of alleged abuses that the country has committed since it last hosted the Olympics in 2008.

    "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," read the letter, which was signed by more than 160 organizations.

    More from Reuters:

    The letter argues that the prestige of the Beijing 2008 Olympics emboldened the government to take further actions, including programmes targeting Xinjiang Uighurs and other ethnic policies.

    China’s Foreign Ministry denounced the move as an attempt to politicise sport.

    “This is against the spirit of the Olympic charter and China firmly opposes it,” ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

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

    Read the full letter below.

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