Rights violations in China ignored by IOC: Tibet NGO

Dharamsala, July 31 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ignored human rights violations in China by selecting Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, a Tibet NGO said on Friday.

“The IOC has sent the wrong message… China wants the world to ignore its deteriorating human rights situation and be impressed by Chinese can-do pragmatism instead. That’s exactly what the IOC has done,” the International Tibet Network said in a statement here.

“Whatever the IOC wants or says, the message heard loud and clear in Beijing is that human rights and Tibet don’t matter. The honour of a second Olympic Games is a propaganda gift to China,” it said.

At the 28th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur, Beijing was selected as host for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games ahead of Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Beijing, which beat Almaty by 44 votes to 40 with one abstention, will become the first city to host both a summer and winter games.

The International Tibet Network said a protest took place at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, where campaigners, including former political prisoner Golog Jigme, sent a personal appeal to IOC members to reject the bid and also carried banners saying “Stop Beijing 2022” and “No more bloody Games”.

“I hope my fellow Tibetans in Tibet do not pay a price in 2022 like the one I and others paid for the 2008 Olympic Games,” the International Tibet Network quoted Jigme as saying.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has lived here in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based in this north Indian hill town.

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