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Uyghur body urges Canada to ensure boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics

News Agencies | Updated on: 5 April 2021, 9:05 IST

The Canadian government must ensure that it does everything in its power to ensure that Canada boycotts the next year Beijing Olympics if it intends to deliver on its obligations to victims of persecution, Georgia L Gilholy, Editor in Chief for Foundation for Uyghur Freedom, said.

In an article in the Post Millennial, Gilholy writes that Canada's participation in Beijing 2022 "sends the message loud and clear to the Chinese authorities that, aside from sanctions on a handful of officials, there are little more than empty words behind February's vote".


On February 22, the Canadian House of Commons voted 266-0 in favour of designating China's persecution of the Uyghur minority as a genocide. February's vote, although non-binding, was a promising sign of Canada's intentions to use its role as a middle power to focus on humanitarian issues - even if Trudeau and his cabinet thought it best to abstain, Gilholy says.

"If the government intends to deliver on its obligations, not only to its own voters' priorities but also to victims of persecution worldwide, it must do everything in its power to ensure that a boycott of next year's games goes ahead," Gilholy writes.

A recent survey among Canadians has revealed that more than half of those polled favoured boycotting Canada's participation in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, underscoring the negative public opinion in the country toward China stemming from allegations of human rights abuses.

Online polling of 1,000 Canadians found that 54 per cent believe that the country "definitely should / probably should" boycott the international competition, while 24 per cent said "probably should not / definitely should not" according to Canadian polling firm Research Co. as reported in the South China Morning Post.

The diplomatic relationship shared by China-Canada has a very topsy-turvy dimension. China-Canada relations have been getting increasingly tense, with both sides hurling insults and threats. The feud ignited after Canada agreed to a US request to extradite a Huawei executive. This led to retaliation by China with two Canadians - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - being confined over espionage allegations.

The to and fro accusation has been going on for some time.

The World Uyghur Congress, a human rights group, has urged International Olympic Committee's ethics commission to personally make a ruling on a complaint the group filed to move the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing, The Hill reported.

The rights group that represents Uyghurs Muslims in China, had filed a complaint with the Olympic committee's ethics commission in August 2020 requesting the organisation to reconsider holding the 2022 Olympics in China due to "verifiable evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity taking place against the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims by the People's Republic of China".

Since January 21 this year the US Government, the Parliaments of Canada, and the Netherlands have officially recognised China's atrocities against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan as genocide.

(ANI)

Also Read: China using pressure tactics on family members to intimidate Uyghur scribes

First published: 5 April 2021, 9:05 IST
 
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