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BEIJING WINTER OLYMPICS

Why are some countries boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics? Which nations are involved?

The Winter Games are set to take place from 4-20 February inside a "closed loop" bubble with many nations declaring a diplomatic boycott of the games.

Update:
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 24: Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic workers prepare the ice surface in the Wukesong Hockey Arena on January 24, 2022 in Beijing, China. Beijing is preparing for the 2022 Winter Olympics which will open on the 4th February 2022. (Photo
Richard HeathcoteGetty Images

The United States and many of its allies, including Britain, Canada, Australia, Japan and Denmark, have said they will not send official diplomatic delegations to the Winter Olympics in Beijing in protest at China's rights record.

Rights groups have long criticised the IOC for awarding the Games to China, citing its treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups, which the United States has deemed genocide. China denies allegations of human rights abuses.

24 January 2022, China, Beijing: A group of people stand in front of a decoration for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on display in Tiananmen Square. The Beijing Winter Olympics will take place from 04 to 20 February.
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24 January 2022, China, Beijing: A group of people stand in front of a decoration for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on display in Tiananmen Square. The Beijing Winter Olympics will take place from 04 to 20 February.DPA vía Europa Press

Last week, the IOC said in an emailed response to a request for comment from the media that it "recognises and upholds human rights  as enshrined in both the Fundamental Principles of the Olympic Charter and in its Code of Ethics" at all times.

Last month, 19 Uyghurs filed a criminal complaint with a Turkish prosecutor against Chinese officials, accusing them of committing genocide, torture, rape and crimes against humanity.

Uyghurs living in Turkey have criticised Ankara's approach to China. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said this month he conveyed Turkey's "views, expectations and sensitivities" over the Uyghurs to his Chinese counterpart during talks in Beijing.

U.N. experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, mainly from the Uyghur and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in camps in Xinjiang. "The world, Turkic countries and Islamic countries need to wake up. China is committing genocide right now," said protester Abdurrahman Taymaz.

"They are deceiving people. We want these Olympic Games to be boycotted as soon as possible."

Denmark, latest nation to confirm Beijing boycott

Denmark will not send an official diplomatic delegation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics due to human rights issues in the host country, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod recently confirmed.

"It is no secret that we from the Danish side are very concerned about the human rights situation in China," Kofod said. "The government has decided that we will not attend the Winter Olympics in China."

A U.S. boycott to protest against China's human rights record has been joined by Australia, Britain, Canada and Japan.

Lithuania lead the way

The Baltic nation was the first country to confirm a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics “Foreign Minister Landsbergis will not attend the Beijing Winter Olympics,” the ministry of foreign affairs said. Vilnius and Beijing have had a rocky relationship in recent months, triggered by Lithuania’s overtures toward self-ruling Taiwan, which China considers to be part of its territory.

Australia, Britain, Canada and Japan are joined by Belgium, Germany, Denmark and Estonia in decision not to send diplomats to Beijing for the Games. 

Other nations, such as Sweden, New Zealand, Slovenia and Austria have also confirmed that no government represents will fly to China for the Games citing covid concerns as their motives.

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