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Beijing Winter Olympics could take a hit as global outcry against Rights abuses in Xinjiang snowballs

More than 180 organizations have already called on national governments to boycott Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games because of the human rights violations against Uyghur Muslim minority in China's Xinjiang province (Image courtesy: Twitter/East Turkistan News Agency)

China's troubles continue to mount as many more countries are joining the queue to slam China's human rights abuses against its Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang as genocide. After the United States government in January and the Canadian House of Commons earlier this week, the Netherlands on Thursday became the first European nation to not mince words and declare that the treatment of the Uyghurs in China amounts to genocide.

Even though China termed the Xinjiang-related motion passed by the Dutch House of Representatives "an outright lie" and "in total disregard of facts and common sense", multilateral pressure is beginning to build on the Communist Party of China (CPC) government on the grave human rights situation in its westernmost region.

Belgium, France and England have intensified calls on imposing sanctions against the Xi Jinping regime after several reports of systemic torture, forced labour and even sexual abuse in Xinjiang detention camps. The New York Times reported recently: "Some textile and apparel companies that used cotton or yarn from Xinjiang have announced that they are severing ties, including Patagonia, Marks and Spencer and H&M".

IndiaNarrative.com had reported Monday that British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had accused  Beijing of 'industrial scale' human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang – and also the "deeply concerning" situation in Tibet – in his address to the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

"No one can ignore the evidence anymore… We see almost daily reports now that shine a new light on China’s systematic human rights violations perpetrated against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang. The situation in Xinjiang is beyond the pale," Raab had said. 

A day later, while addressing the same forum, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on China to comply with its obligations under national and international law to respect and to protect human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities in Xinjiang, in Tibet and Inner Mongolia. He had urged Beijing to provide "meaningful access" to Xinjiang for independent observers, including Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"This is key to enable an independent, impartial and transparent assessment of the grave concerns that the international community has. I also reiterate our call on China to respect fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, and democratic principles in Hong Kong and to ensure its high degree of autonomy under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle," Borrell said.

Beyond the US and the EU, calls for an end to Chinese human rights abuses has spilled Down Under. The East Turkistan Australian Association (ETAA ) held a march in Adelaide, demanding that the Australian government should immediately ban imports of Chinese goods produced by forced labour in Xinjiang.

In New Zealand, Foreign Affairs Secretary Chris Seed was grilled by MPs on Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday about how New Zealand is helping the Uighurs.

"We've been quite clear that there a significant body of information, much of it in the public domain including recently, that there are a range of activities that go on in Xinjiang that don't align with New Zealand values and that we would consider unacceptable," Seed was quoted as saying by Auckland-based Newshub.

In the list of possible curbs, calls to boycott and relocate the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are now growing especially stronger.

More than 180 organizations have already called on national governments to boycott Beijing 2022 games because of the human rights violations against ethnic minorities.

On Thursday, a non-partisan coalition made up of votes from the European Parliament wrote an 'open letter' to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and sponsors of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, asking them to withdraw the games from China and move it to another country after growing evidence of a genocide taking place in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region where as many as two million Uyghurs are currently being held in internment camps.

"The IOC failed to act in 2008 when the Summer Games were held in Beijing, despite warnings about human rights… We call on major sponsors to pull their support from the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and call on democratic states and civil societies to hold a boycott through various forms of disapproval," Members of the European Parliament Anna Fotyga (Poland), Engin Eroglu (Germany), Marketa Gregorva (Czech Republic), Raphael Glucksmann (France) and Miriam Lexmann (Slovakia) said in a joint letter addressed to the IOC.

Several rights groups like Stop Uyghur Genocide, the UK based campaign to defend Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in China, have even termed the Beijing Winter Olympics as 'Genocide Games' and are urging sponsors like holiday rentals site Airbnb to break silence on issue.