Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Beijing [China], May 8 (ANI): Leading international companies sponsoring the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are avoiding questions about their participation in the games, as China continues to face pressure over human rights violations in the northwest region of Xinjiang.

A total of 11 of the 13 multinationals that have major sponsorship deals with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not respond if they were reconsidering their plans, the Financial Times reported.

"No comment isn't really one of the possible answers on an issue that really has extraordinary support across the political spectrum in a number of countries," said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch.

Last month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) had said the Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims.

The latest HRW report draws on newly available data from Chinese government documents, other evidence to assess Beijing's actions in Xinjiang. The report had said that the Chinese leadership is responsible for widespread and systematic policies of mass detention, torture, and cultural persecution, among other offenses.

World Uyghur Congress's Zumretay Arkin said that these companies were "walking on eggshells" amid the rising calls for boycotts.

"These companies have really beautiful and strong statements about condemning human rights abuses on their websites but when it comes to implementing the policies they just freeze," said Arkin.

So far, the US, Canada, Netherlands, and the UK have described the situation in Xinjiang as genocide, after reports of forced sterilisations and forced labour in Xinjiang. Meanwhile, Bejing continues to deny all accusations of human rights abuses in the northwest Chinese region. (ANI)

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