IOC leaders around Bach would have to resign

Wenzel Michalski, director of Human Rights Watch Germany. Photo: Christoph Soeder / dpa (Image: dpa)
(Photo: Christoph Soeder / dpa)

Berlin – The human rights organization Human Rights Watch has called for the resignation of IOC officials around German President Thomas Bach.

“If even the economy is already calling on businessmen to report human rights violations in Xinjiang, then at the latest Mr. Bach and others must be clear that their time has come,” said Wenzel Michalski, director of Human Rights Watch for Germany, the Deutschlandfunk. Four weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, he stressed: “And they have to resign and leave the field to a new generation of human rights conscious officials.”

The power of sports associations like the International Olympic Committee or the FIFA World Soccer Association should “really be broken now, because they have shown that they are just acting irresponsibly and greedily,” Michalski said.

China is also criticized for human rights violations in its dealings with Uighurs and Tibetans, for repressing the democratic movement in Hong Kong and for threats against Taiwan.

IOC chief Bach, on the other hand, recently spoke of strong international support despite the planned diplomatic boycott of the Olympics in some countries. “The support of the international community for these Winter Olympics is obvious and very welcome,” Bach said in his New Year’s speech. The United States, Australia, Great Britain and Canada, among others, had announced that they would not send politicians to the games from February 4 to 20. More recently, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced that they would not travel to Beijing for the Games.

Bach also emphasized the political neutrality of the IOC. “The Olympic Games are above any conflict,” he said, referring to the UN resolution on the declaration of the Olympic ceasefire. This shows that the mission to connect the world can only be successful if Olympia remains beyond all political disputes.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220103-99-571854 / 3

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