Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (symbol image)
Mark Schiefelbein / AP
Vice President John Coates has ruled out that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will put pressure on the host of the upcoming Winter Games because of the human rights situation in China.
“We are not a world government.
We have to respect the sovereignty of the countries that host the Games, ”Coates said at an event in his native Australia.
Human rights organizations believe that at least one million Uyghurs and members of other, mostly Muslim minorities, are imprisoned in the northwest region of Xinjiang. The US has also asked the IOC to postpone the Beijing Games for next year and reschedule the event if China does not finish what the US calls the ongoing genocide of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups. The People's Republic itself denies the allegations. (Read more on the subject here.)
The IOC attaches "very great importance to human rights", said Coates, these are an "important part of the basic principles of the Olympic idea and laid down in the Olympic Charter." But the IOC “has no way of going into a country and telling it what to do. That's not our job, «says the 71-year-old. The task of the IOC is rather "to ensure that the National Olympic Committees or the Olympic Movement do not commit any human rights violations in the implementation of the Games."
The Beijing Winter Olympics will open on February 4th.
Recently there have been increasing calls to boycott them or at least find a way to protest against the human rights situation in China.
Foreign viewers are not allowed in Beijing due to coronavirus restrictions.
The United States Congress has put pressure on five major IOC sponsors, including Visa and Airbnb, on charges of indirect support for the alleged genocide of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
Beijing then accused US politicians of "politicizing" sport and slandering China.
mon / sid / Reuters