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The IOC Stays Silent on Human Rights in China

Despite growing criticism, the IOC has not denounced the Chinese government’s policies in Xinjiang or raised the topic publicly.
The IOC stays silent on human rights in China
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios


The International Olympic Committee is publicly backing China, where the Winter Games are being held this year and where there is an ongoing genocide.

The big picture: The IOC has long stated it is committed to human rights, but it is declining to take a stand ahead of the Beijing Olympics — and insisting its only mission is to run the Games successfully.

  • By remaining silent and continuing to back Beijing, the IOC is deflecting pressure from the international community onto Olympics sponsors and athletes themselves.

Driving the news: Numerous governments have announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, due to the campaign of repression and genocide that Chinese authorities are currently waging against ethnic Uyghurs in the country’s northwest region.

  • This means no official government delegation from these countries will travel to Beijing, but their athletes will still compete.

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