© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives at the UN Headquarters in New York City, New York, USA ahead of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA (Reuters) – The largest group of Uyghurs in exile has asked the chairman of the IOC’s ethics committee to personally review their call for Beijing not to keep the 2022 Winter Olympics to prove what they call a crime against humanity.
Activists and UN experts say 1 million Uyghurs and other Turkish Muslims are being held in Chinese camps in Xinjiang. China denies abuses, saying its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism in the remote western region.
The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) said its public complaint on the issue last August had not been fairly heard by the International Olympic Committee.
In a statement by Reuters in its February 26 letter to ethics chief Ban Ki-moon, the WUC reiterated that the IOC “violated the Olympic Charter by suspending the holding of the 2022 Beijing Olympics for evidence of evidence Genocide hasn’t re-examined and crime and humanity are taking place “
There was no immediate comment from the IOC.
The IOC said in a statement to Reuters last August that it “must remain neutral on all global political issues”. The IOC said it had received assurances from Chinese government agencies “that the Olympic Charter principles will be observed during the Games.”
The World Uyghur Congress, which uses a different spelling for the word Uyghur, said its latest letter followed what the IOC ethics office identified as a failure to follow the procedure for such cases.
This was because it only received a response from the Games Executive Director, not the Ethics Committee, in September.
The Uighur group “urges Mr. Ban Ki-moon to either examine the complaint himself or to appoint a new ethics and compliance officer to do so properly,” the WUC statement said. Ban is a former UN Secretary General.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he agreed with his predecessor Mike Pompeo’s determination that a genocide of Muslims was ongoing in Xinjiang.
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