Activists urge IOC not to award 2022 Games to Beijing
By Karolos Grohmann
BERLIN (Reuters) - A group of rights activists have called on the International Olympic Committee not to award the 2022 winter Games to Beijing saying China's human rights record had worsened since the 2008 Olympics in the Chinese capital.
Chinese, Uighur, Mongolian and Tibetan activists said in an open letter to the IOC it should not "make the same mistake" by awarding the Olympics to Beijing as there was no improvement of human rights in the country since.
The Chinese capital and Kazakhstan's Almaty are the only bidders for the winter Olympics in seven years time, with the IOC electing the winner at its session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, next week.
Should Beijing win it would be the first city to have been awarded both summer and winter Olympics.
"We hope that you are aware by now that the 2008 Beijing Games did nothing to alleviate human rights abuses in China or enhance freedom," they said in the letter.
"In fact the situation now in 2015 is far worse than when those Games were awarded in 2001."
It was signed by the president of the World Uighur Congress, the director of the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, the president of Initiatives for China and a Tibetan rights activist.
Tibetan parts of China experienced a wave of violent anti-Chinese protests in 2008. Rights groups said the Games were marked by forced evictions - claims angrily dismissed at the time by the government - and other abuses. Continued...