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One of the Vice Presidents of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the australian John Coates, ruled out on Wednesday the idea according to which the body could hold China to account on the issue of human rights before the Beijing Winter Olympics (February 4-20, 2022).

“We are not the government of the world, we have to respect the sovereignty of the countries that host the Games,” Coates said in response to a question about China’s treatment of the Uighur minority.

“We do not have the ability to go to a country to tell it what to do … It is not among our powers,” he added.

Several human rights organizations accused Beijing of having interned at least one million Uyghurs in “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, subjecting some to forced labor. Amnesty International denounced “crimes against humanity”.

Beijing denies this figure and speaks of “vocational training centers” to support employment and combat Muslim extremism in this province that was the target of attacks attributed to the Uyghurs. China is also regularly accused of limiting human rights in Hong Kong.

The foreign public will not be able to go to Beijing-2022 due to the sanitary restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

The 2022 Games are the subject of calls for boycotts or protests against human rights management in China. The US Congress rebuked five major sponsors of the Games – including Visa and Airbnb – for encouraging the alleged genocide of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

For its part, Beijing accused US politicians of “politicizing sport” and of defamation against the state led by the Chinese Communist Party since 1949 and which already hosted the Games once, in the summer of 2008.

The foreign public will not be able to go to Beijing-2022 due to the sanitary restrictions caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

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