The letter, addressed to IOC President Thomas Bak, and signed by human rights organizations on every continent, said Chinese central government actions in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Inner Mongolia show that the country hosts winter The Olympics was unfit to do.
The letter stated that the IOC’s reputation for improving China’s human rights was mistakenly tarnished at the 2008 (Beijing Summer) Olympics. In fact, the reputation of hosting the Olympic Games embodied the actions of the Chinese government.
“We call on the committee to reverse its past mistakes and immediately demonstrate that it has the political will to adhere to the core principles of the Olympic Charter regarding ‘human dignity’. The IOC is again under threat of its moral authority Should not be allowed to pour. “
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday that the letter was attempting to “politicize the Games”, a move that China “strongly opposes”.
CNN has reached out to the IOC for comment on the letter. In a statement to Reuters, the IOC said they remained neutral on political issues, and awarding the Olympic Games does not mean that the IOC agrees with the political structure, social conditions or human rights standards in their country.
The IOC said in 2017 that it would add human rights, anti-corruption and sustainable development blocks to future Olympic host city contracts beginning with the 2024 Summer Games.
Calls to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics have become increasingly mainstream, with US Democratic presidential candidates asking if the US should send a team to the upcoming Games during a debate in December 2019.
Former vice president and 2020 US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden did not answer the question.
China hosted the first Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008, which was viewed by many as the country’s arrival on the world stage as a major economy and aspirational superpower.
The ruling Chinese Communist Party spent a large amount of money and effort to ensure the game, despite concerns surrounding the country’s human rights record, including the then US President George W. Bush.
Researcher Yakiu Wang of China’s Human Rights Watch said that catching an Olympic-like event was a source of “great pride” for the Chinese government. “(2008 Olympics) gave them a way to legalize their human rights abuses, it’s like a prestige laundry for Beijing,” she said. Human Rights Watch was not signed to call for the 2022 Games to be taken away from Beijing.
In 2015, Beijing was awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics, meaning it became the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games. Only Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, after Oslo, Munich and Stockholm, were running for the 2022 Games.
When asked about concerns over human rights issues in both China and Kazakhstan at the time, IOC President Bach told CNN that the IOC’s role was “to ensure that during the Games, and for all participants, the Olympic Charter come into force.”
“It means tolerance, no discrimination (and) understanding of dialogue,” he said.
But since 2015, the Chinese government has faced increasing criticisms due to allegations of human rights abuses, most notably because of its mass detention of Muslim citizens in Xinjiang and the erosion of civil liberties in Hong Kong.
According to the US State Department, more than 2 million Muslim minorities have again been detained under heavy education facilities in the western Xinjiang region. Reports have surfaced from inside camps of abuse, disarmament and mass birth control.
The Chinese government has defended its policy in Xinjiang as an abusive program, and said the camps are “vocational training centers” where Muslim minorities can voluntarily learn life skills and the Chinese language.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the Chinese government enacted a new national security law in June, which activists say is in the wake of months of pro-democracy protests in the city through 2019, taking a serious look at freedom of speech and other human rights Curbs with
Opposition lawmakers and Beijing businessmen have already been arrested in Beijing after the new law came into force. The Hong Kong government and Chinese officials have defended the law, saying it has stabilized the city.