British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has joined groups calling for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics over China’s treatment of its Uighur Muslims.
Raab said it was “clear that there is evidence of serious and egregious human rights violations”, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
More than 160 human rights groups around the world have signed a letter calling for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reverse its decision to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, citing allegations of widespread rights abuses by the Chinese government.
Chinese central government policies and humanitarian breaches in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Inner Mongolia show the country is unworthy to host the Winter Olympics, say signatories to the letter.
In a statement to CNN, the IOC said that they remained neutral on political issues, and that awarding the Olympic Games “does not mean that the IOC agrees with the political structure, social circumstances or human rights standards in its country”.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday that the letter was attempting to “politicise” sports, a move which China “firmly opposes”.