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.
Over 160 human rights advocacy groups have delivered a joint letter to the chief of the International Olympic Committee calling for it to reconsider its choice to award China the 2022 Winter Games in light of Beijing’s human rights record https://t.co/z6wAEHYaA2— Reuters (@Reuters) September 9, 2020
160 human rights groups calling on the International Olympic Committee chief to reverse the mistake of awarding the winter Olympics 2022 to Beijing.— TheTibetNetwork (@TheTibetNetwork) September 9, 2020
Full press release here:https://t.co/dIB3cmQF8k
More than 160 human rights groups called on the International Olympic Committee to revoke China's award of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games over the country's human rights abuses. https://t.co/eH7DtNK8j4— Axios (@axios) September 9, 2020
IOC urged to move 2022 Olympics from Beijing over human-rights concerns https://t.co/Wj0v5GrVmM— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) September 9, 2020
Read the full letter below.