Human Rights in China, according to an Olympic vice president, are “not within” the IOC’s remit.
On Wednesday, a top member of the International Olympic Committee dismissed proposals that China’s human rights record be scrutinized before of the Beijing Winter Games.
When asked about China’s persecution of the Uyghur minority, IOC Vice President John Coates stated the organization doesn’t have the authority to intervene.
“We are not a global governing body. The sovereignty of the countries hosting the games must be respected “Coates described an event that occurred in his home country of Australia.
At least one million Uyghurs and members of other largely Muslim minorities are believed to have been imprisoned in the northern Xinjiang province, according to rights groups, and Beijing has also been accused of repressing human rights in Hong Kong.
“We don’t have the authority to walk into a country and tell them what to do… that’s not our job.”
The IOC and its members decide who will host the Games and assist in the organization of the event.
The organization refers to itself as the “guardian” of the Olympics, promising to “create a better world through sport.”
The Beijing Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place in February, but there have been demands for sponsors and others to boycott the games or find a means to protest China’s human rights situation.
Five prominent sponsors, including Visa and Airbnb, have been grilled by the US Congress, accusing them of assisting the alleged genocide of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
Beijing has retaliated by accusing American politicians of “politicizing sports” and slandering China.
China has been administered by the Communist Party since 1949 and has already hosted the Olympics, in 2008 in Beijing.
That event was widely regarded as a showcase for China’s growing wealth and rising power status.
Foreign supporters will be prohibited this time due to coronavirus limitations, and the Winter Games will take place following a series of crackdowns, especially in Hong Kong, aimed at consolidating President Xi Jinping’s control.