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19 Nov 2021

Matt Egan, CNN Business (USA)

Czechia: Marriott apologises for refusing to host Uyghur conference as its Prague branch cited 'political neutrality' for decision

"Marriott rejected Uyghur conference to maintain 'political neutrality'", 19 November 2021

The Marriott hotel in Prague refused to host a conference this month aimed at drawing attention to alleged human rights abuses in China, the hotel chain confirmed to CNN on Friday.

The Prague Marriott cited "reasons of political neutrality" for its decision to decline to host the World Uyghur Congress, according to an email first reported by Axios.

In a statement, Marriott International (MAR), Inc. said the Prague hotel's response to the group was "not consistent with our policies." Marriott said the Prague hotel's management team has reached out to the group to apologize.

"We are working with the hotel team to provide additional training and education on our longstanding practices of inclusion," Marriott said.

Marriott confirmed that last month, the Prague Marriott sent an email to the activist group explaining that the planned November conference would not be held at the location -- after consulting with corporate management.

"Unfortunately, I have to inform you that we are not able to offer the premises. We consulted the whole matter with our corporate management. For reasons of political neutrality, we cannot offer events of this type with a political theme," the email said.

Marriott International told CNN this was a "hotel-level decision" and the reference to "corporate management" refers to the management of the Prague hotel. [...]

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