A coalition of almost 180 groups has released an open letter calling for the support of world leaders to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over China's rights record.
The Winter Olympics is scheduled to begin on February 4, 2022. But the preparations have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic which also caused the delay of the Tokyo Summer Olympics which will take place in July 2021.
Meanwhile, China is facing massive criticism for its detention camps for Uighur Muslims in the western Xinjiang region and its efforts to suppress the Hong Kong protest. The role of Chinese authorities to control the initial Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan also became one of the debated issues since the beginning of the pandemic.
Boycott Beijing Olympics
The campaign groups signed an open letter that called on world leaders to boycott the winter games in China. As per AFP, the coalition of rights groups urged for the support "to ensure they are not used to embolden the Chinese government's appalling rights abuses and crackdowns on dissent".
The groups include the World Uyghur Congress, which aspires to "represent the collective interest of the Uyghur people" both inside and outside of the Xinjiang autonomous region and mainland China, as well as the International Tibet Network, which is a coalition of more than 120 Tibet organizations.
The coalition said that since China won the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, President Xi Jinping has unleashed an unrelenting crackdown on basic freedom and human rights.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that concerns raised by the coalition of rights groups "were and are raised with the government and local authorities."
"We received assurances that the principles of the Olympic Charter will be respected in the context of the Games. We will continue to discuss Games-related issues with the organizers," said IOC.
China has been under pressure due to the way it is controlling the Uighur's minorities. The groups opposing the Beijing Olympics believe that at least one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslim minorities have been kept in camps in the Xinjiang region.
China initially denied the existence of these camps. But later the Chinese government abruptly acknowledged them. The authorities said that the camps are vocational training centers aimed at reducing the allure of Islamic extremism.
However, a BBC report has revealed some shocking and horrific details about the detention facilities which China addresses as learning centers. According to that report, women in those camps have been systematically raped, sexually assaulted and tortured by the Chinese guards.