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US House passes measure condemning IOC over China human rights issues

News Agencies | Updated on: 9 December 2021, 10:28 IST

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a resolution that condemns the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for failing to adhere to its own human rights commitments on China-related issues.

The resolution, which got a 428-0 vote, urges the Olympic Committee to call on the Chinese government to open an independent and transparent probe into allegations made by a Chinese tennis star against a senior Chinese Communist Party official, American newspaper The Hill reported.

"There will be athletes [from] all over the world in attendance. So this body owes it not just to Peng, but to all the athletes participating in the Olympic Games to demonstrate that we do not take their safety and freedom for granted," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks.

The resolution also urges the IOC to call on China to cease any censorship of reporting of Peng's case and publicly commit to holding sexual violence abusers accountable.

Moreover, the resolution calls on the IOC to press China to let Peng leave the country if she wishes to do so and not retaliate against her family members that remain behind.

Last week, the IOC said that it had held a video call with Peng and she confirmed that she is safe and in good condition.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) had said that this move undermines its expressed commitment to human rights, including the rights and safety of athletes. "The IOC did not explain how the video call with Peng had been organized, given the difficulties other concerned parties have had reaching her."

Yaqiu Wang, a senior China researcher at HRW, had said that the IOC has vaulted itself from silence about Beijing's abysmal human rights record to active collaboration with Chinese authorities in undermining freedom of speech and disregarding alleged sexual assault.

The House passed another measure condemning human rights abuses in China.


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First published: 9 December 2021, 10:28 IST