Olympics-Beijing Olympics are ready for Olympia’s flames, but wary of protests.

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File Photo: A man adjusts the emblem of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics before the ceremony to announce the slogan in Beijing, China, on September 17, 2021. REUTERS / Tingshu Wang

October 14, 2021

By Karolos Grohmann

Athens (Reuters) – The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will be focused on Monday’s torchlight ritual in ancient Olympia, Greece, but opposition to the Olympics is becoming more and more loud.

The capital of China will be the first city to host both the Winter and Summer Olympics when hosting the event from February 4th to 20th, but as in the case of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the country There are protests and boycott calls for human rights records. I hurt the run-up.

Rights groups and US legislators have told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the Games and hold an event unless China ends the ongoing mass slaughter of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups. I am asking you to relocate.

Chinese officials have been accused of promoting forced labor by detaining approximately one million Uighurs and other predominantly Islamic minorities in camps since 2016.

China has denied cheating by saying it has set up a vocational training center to combat extremism.

Next week’s ceremony in Olympia, the venue of the ancient Olympics, will be held without spectators and the media presence is limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delivery of the flames to the organizers of the Beijing Olympics will take place at the Athens event the next day without spectators.

Hundreds of Greek police officers are expected to blockade the sleepy town of the western Peloponnese over the weekend to prevent turmoil in the ceremony.

The lack of crowds has made it easier for police to protect the ceremony, and authorities are desperate to avoid repeated protests at the torchlight ceremony of the Beijing Summer Olympics.

protest

In 2008, Tibetan activists sneaked into the ancient ruins of Olympia, set fire to their torches before the official ceremony, and upset Chinese organizers.

Activists also broke strict security, interrupted the Beijing Olympics Torchlight ceremony itself, and spread a banner condemning China’s human rights records at a globally aired event.

Later, they blocked the start of the relay in Olympia, marking the beginning of months of international protest.

“Greek police are more mobile with regard to Beijing’s torch lighting, especially compared to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” a Greek official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“Potential turmoil scenarios are clearly being seriously considered by police.”

Human rights groups have informed Reuters that they will attend Greece during the ceremony to emphasize China’s human rights records and re-call the IOC to cancel the Games, without revealing details.

The IOC also faces criticism that it has awarded China two Olympics in 14 years, even though rights groups have stated that there has been no improvement in human rights since the 2008 Olympics.

However, IOC Vice President John Coates defended the stance of the Olympic group on Wednesday.

“The IOC’s mission is to ensure that there are no human rights abuses with respect to the conduct of the Olympics within the National Olympic Committee or the Olympic Movement,” he said.

“We do not have the ability to go to a country and teach them what to do. What we can do is to award an Olympic Games to a country under the conditions stipulated in the contract with the host country … And to make sure it is protected. “

(Report by Karolos Grohmann, edited by Peter Rutherford)

Olympics-Beijing Olympics are ready for Olympia’s flames, but wary of protests

Source link Olympics-Beijing Olympics are ready for Olympia’s flames, but wary of protests

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