İrem UZUN -TDO- More than 180 organizations have called on governments to boycott Beijing 2022 because of reported human rights abuses against ethnic minorities. The games are to open in one year, on February 4, 2022, and are set to go forward despite the pandemic. A senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected criticism of its decision to host next year's Winter Games in China.
The coalition is composed of groups representing Tibetans, Uighurs, Inner Mongolians, residents of Hong Kong, and others. The groups have issued an open letter to governments calling for a boycott of the Olympics "to ensure they are not used to embolden the Chinese government's appalling rights abuses and crackdowns on dissent." Rights groups have previously asked the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee to move the games from China. The IOC has largely ignored the demands and says it's only a sporting body that does not get involved with politics. The groups said because of the IOC's inaction, "it now falls on governments to take a stand and demonstrate that they have the political will to push back against China's reprehensible human rights abuses." The World Uyghur Congress described the event as "a genocide Olympics".
However, there appears little appetite from countries for a boycott, including in the U.S., which has formally declared that China’s abuses in Xinjiang to amount to genocide. “We’re not currently talking about changing our posture or our plans as it relates to the Beijing Olympics,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.