Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) Secretary-General David Shoemaker admitted that there are concerns about the human rights situation in China, but rejected suggestions that countries might boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
Politicians from several countries called for a boycott of the Games in Hong Kong and for the alleged abuses of human rights of Uygar Muslims.
Conservative politician Michael Chong, a member of Canada’s main opposition party, urged the government to consider boycott. Former Canadian Foreign Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, however, suggested that the decision should be taken by the COC.
Shoemaker told CTV News that Canada is preparing to compete in the Games. The COC Secretary-General acknowledged that China’s position was a concern, but believed the boycott of the Games would be a retaliation.
“We are concerned with what we are hearing in the host country and we know that the Government of Canada is addressing these issues government to government. The COC believes that to unify the world in sports, create dialogue And has a unique power of understanding. Through significant connections between people. “, Shoemaker told CTV News.
While still interviewed, the Secretary-General recalled other boycotts and their results: “Previous Olympic boycotts, such as Moscow in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1984, punished athletes, consolidated further governments into their positions and little And achieved. The ultimate goal is to see a change, we believe a boycott will be counter-productive. “
Politicians in Britain, Australia and the United States have called for a boycott due to alleged abuses of human rights of Hong Kong and Uygar Muslims, an allegation that China has repeatedly denied.
The governments of the United Kingdom and the United States have already boycotted the Sochi Paralympics 2014, with no politicians present at the Games following Russia’s intervention in Crimea a week before the event. Teams from both countries were represented at the Games.
The United Nations estimates that at least one million Uyghurs and other indigenous Muslims have been detained at a “counter-extremism center” in Xinjiang.
A coalition representing Tibetan, Uighur, Hong Kong and Chinese democracy groups met with International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials in October when they asked that the 2022 Games be moved because of the allegations.
Organizations represented in Free Tibet, We the Hong Kongers, International Tibet Network, World Uyghur Congress and the Student Alliance of Humanitarian China / China Against the Death Penalty were among the organizations represented.
Photo: Archive / IOC