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Humans Rights Watch calls for boycott

Kenneth Roth, head of the human rights organization Human Rights Watch, has called on other governments to boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The regime in China is using the games “clearly to whitewash their terrible oppression or to hide it under sporting successes,” Roth said in an interview with the French news agency “AFP”.

The US, Australia, Canada and the UK have already announced that they will not be sending official representatives to the games. The athletes from these countries will very well take part in the competitions. The debate is ongoing in Germany, and the aim is to find a common solution within the EU.

Roth believes that governments “can’t just say everything is normal. At the very least, the international community should join in the diplomatic boycott of the Games,” he said.

The American also made sponsors responsible: “Instead of helping with money laundering, they should point out what is happening in Xinjiang.”

HRW and other human rights organizations accuse the communist regime of having interned more than a million Uyghurs in political re-education camps.

Olympia: Beijing denies figures

Beijing disputes this number and speaks of “vocational training centers” that are intended to prevent the population from radicalizing after attacks attributed to Islamists or Uyghur separatists.

Roth welcomed the apparent readiness of more countries to criticize China at the United Nations and expressed hope that the High Commissioner for Human Rights would soon publish a report on Xinjiang.

Michelle Bachelet, the head of the High Commission, has been demanding “significant and unimpeded access” from Beijing to Xinjiang for years, but so far such a visit has not been permitted. Meanwhile, Roth accused UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is due to attend the games, of “being completely silent and refusing to criticize the Chinese government”.

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