Sep 9, 2020 - Sports

Human rights groups call on IOC to revoke 2022 Beijing Olympics

Olympic rings.

A sign for Beijing's bid for the Winter Olympics logo. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

More than 160 human rights groups called on the International Olympic Committee to revoke China's award of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games over the country's human rights abuses, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The letter represents "the largest coordinated effort" yet against staging the Beijing games, coming amid heightened scrutiny of China's mass detention and repression of Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities, according to Reuters.

  • Uighur, Tibetan, Hong Kong and Mongolian rights groups were among the signatories of the letter.

What they're saying: “The IOC must recognise that the Olympic spirit and the reputation of the Olympic Games will suffer further damage if the worsening human rights crisis, across all areas under China’s control, is simply ignored,” groups write in the letter, which was released on Tuesday.

  • The signatories argue that the 2008 Olympics emboldened the Chinese government to continue its human rights abuses.

The other side: The Chinese foreign ministry rebuked the letter, calling it an attempt to politicize sports.

Go deeper: Senators urge NBC to refuse to air 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Go deeper