A group of US lawmakers has called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and relocate the games unless China ends the ongoing "genocide" against Uyghurs and other minority groups.
Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative James McGovern, released a letter on Friday to Thomas Bach, President of the IOC asking him to postpone the 2022 Winter Olympics and to relocate them if the host government does not end its "egregious human rights abuses".
The letter said, "No Olympics should be held in a country whose government is committing genocide and crimes against humanity." The Chairs were joined on the letter by Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Christopher Smith, both former Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Chairs.
"This action would also be in the best interests of the athletes," said the CECC Commissioners. "We find it unfair for the IOC to force athletes to sacrifice their conscience in order to pursue their competitive goals, or vice versa."
To proceed with business as usual is implied consent and suggests the IOC has learned nothing from the Chinese government's use of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to score propaganda wins and distract from its appalling human rights record, the letter further read.
"This is not a matter of whether the Olympics should be immune from politics. Taking action against genocide is not politics. It is about basic morality and human dignity. Again, we urge you to postpone the Beijing Winter Games and relocate them to a different country if the host government does not stop committing genocide and crimes against humanity," the lawmakers added.
Last week, the UK House of Commons had unanimously passed a motion calling for the British government to stage a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics unless China ends the "atrocities" taking place in Xinjiang province.
The motion referenced accusations of mass atrocity crimes in the Uyghur region and urged the UK Government and its representatives to decline invitations to attend the Beijing Games, according to a statement by Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC).