'Boycott Beijing Olympics' over 'Muslim genocide', British MPs demand

'Boycott Beijing Olympics' over 'Muslim genocide', British MPs demand
Senior UK politicians have urged British athletes to boycott next year's Winter Olympics in Beijing in response to a 'genocide' against Uighurs and other Muslim groups in China.
2 min read
10 February, 2021
Uighur Muslims have been subjected to brutal violence by the Chinese state [Getty]
Senior UK figures have called for British athletes to boycott next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing in response to shocking abuses against Muslim Uighurs in Chinese internment camps.

A shocking BBC report has broadcast claims of the systematic rape and sexual abuse of women at detention camps for ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim groups in China's western region of Xinjiang.

The report garnered international outrage, with the US and UK vowing to take action against Chinese human rights abuses.

Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats party, and Labour MP Chris Bryant, who is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said the government and British Olympic Association should act against the Chinese "genocide" against Muslims.

"The evidence that a genocide is now occurring in western China is so clear that the UK and the whole world must now stand up to Beijing and use every available tool to stop it," Davey said.

Davey added the UK had previously allowed its sports stars to be used for propaganda purposes for dictatorships in the past, such as when the England football team was told to give a Nazi salute in 1935.

"No doubt we will hear teams, sponsors and governing bodies say the Olympics and Paralympics should be separate from politics and that they are just concentrating on sport. But in the face of genocide, that just isn't good enough," Davey said.

"The 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games will be used as a propaganda tool for a regime committing genocide. Team GB, Paralympics GB and the government have a moral responsibility to consider if sending a team to these Games is really the right thing to do."

"All five categories of genocide behaviour, according to the Genocide Convention, are already in play in Xinjiang province. So I think it's just extraordinary that the British government seems to have no backbone about it," Bryant said.

"I just can't see why anybody would want to go to the Winter Olympics in Beijing. And I think the British Olympic Association should be calling for the Winter Olympics to move, and if it doesn't move, then we should be boycotting it."

Rights groups say that at least one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims have been incarcerated in Xinjiang's camps.

Mounting evidence shows that some have been subjected to forced sterilisation and slave labour as part of an assimilation campaign in the region, whose inhabitants are ethnically and culturally distinct from China's Han majority.

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