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Beijing 2022: China faces criticism over hosting Winter Olympics upon human rights abuses on Uyghur Muslims

07:32 PM Oct 23, 2021 | ANI

China faces growing opposition to the 2022 Winter Olympics on account of a dismal human rights record, particularly in the Xinjiang region against the Uyghur Muslims, said a Canada-based think tank.

The Olympic flame for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is officially ignited in Greece and the flame will reach the Chinese capital later in October to launch the countdown for the games beginning next February, International Forum For Right And Security (IFFRAS) reported.

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As the flame was lit at the ancient Olympia in Greece on October 18, human rights activists staged a protest nearby. The security officials stopped them from entering the area and some were even detailed. The previous day police arrested two persons for unfurling banners supporting "independence for Tibet and Hong Kong", the think tank said.

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Beijing has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and subjecting them to abuse including forced labour. However, Chinese authorities continue to deny all charges.

According to the think tank, as of date, China is on record defending its actions against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang on the ground that it was waging a "war on terror". The government has been "framing the camps in Xinjiang as a necessary part of a national Chinese war on terror that has its roots in China's involvement in the global war on terror declared by the US government after the 9/11 attacks two decades ago".

"If China thought the games and the publicity surrounding them would bring a respite from the all-round global attack on China first over the South China Sea intrusions, the clampdown on anti-democracy protests in Hong Kong, the systematic erosion of Uighur minority rights in Xinjiang and then over the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic, it thought wrong. Countries like the US and some European Union members are aggressively backing the call of human rights watch groups to boycott the games," IFFRAS reported.

Early this year, the United States become the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as "genocide". In February, both the Canadian and Dutch parliaments adopted motions recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide. The latter became the first parliament in Europe to do so. In April, the United Kingdom also declared China's ongoing crackdown in Xinjiang a "genocide".

However, China's excuse is not working as the UN High Commissioner for Human Frights, Michelle Bachelet, assured on September 13 to make public a UN report on the alleged human rights crimes in Xinjiang "no later than five weeks ahead of the opening ceremony of the Games in Beijing on February 4, 2022", IFFRAS reported.

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