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US lawmakers urge IOC to speed up implementation of agenda requiring host cities to protect rights ahead of Beijing Winter Games

Author: Radio Free Asia (US), Published on: 10 December 2019

“US Lawmakers Urge Olympic Committee to Ensure Rights Protections Ahead of Beijing Winter Games”, 6 December 2019

... In a letter... a bipartisan group of 10 U.S. Senators urged IOC President Thomas Bach to put the Olympic Agenda 2020 and the corresponding Host City Contract into practice in time for the 2022 Olympic Games instead of the current timeline of 2024, citing China’s “exploitation of human labor and violation of human rights.”

“We hold great concern that the People’s Republic of China, a country plagued with violent suppression of free speech, state-sponsored oppression, and human rights abuses, is set to serve as host to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games without proper guidelines or requirements,” said the senators…

 “These revised Host City Contract requirements include protection of human rights and labor-related protections, as well as the assurance that all violations of human rights, fraud, or acts of corruption are remedied in accordance with applicable international agreements, laws, and regulations.”…

The senators warned that delaying implementation “leaves China free reign” to continue rights violations while hosting the Winter Games, and said that among Beijing’s worst abuses is its ongoing treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the XUAR [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous]…

 “Any nation enjoying the opportunity to ‘promote its image on the world stage’ should be held to the utmost standards of human rights and freedom,” the senators said…

Speaking to RFA’s Uyghur Service… Dolkun Isa, the president of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress exile group, welcomed the lawmakers’ letter and urged the IOC to reverse its decision to award the 2022 Games to Beijing.

“At a time when the international community is fully aware of the crimes against humanity committed upon the Uyghur people in East Turkestan by the Chinese government, the IOC needs to seriously review its decision awarding China the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics,” he said…

“The Olympic Games are a global celebration of peace, unity, friendship and the human spirit. The hosting of such Games in China is contrary to the founding principles of the IOC and the spirit of Olympic Games. It will only darken the IOC’s global reputation and standing.”…

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