IOC vice president John Coates has said human rights in China are 'not within' the remit of the body Photo: AFP/File
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Olympics VP says China human rights 'not within' IOC mandate

36 Comments

A senior member of the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday swatted aside suggestions China should be challenged over its human rights record ahead of the Beijing Winter Games.

When asked about the treatment of the Uyghur minority in China, IOC Vice President John Coates said the body has no mandate to act.

"We are not a world government. We have to respect the sovereignty of the countries who are hosting the games," Coates told an event in his native Australia.

Rights groups believe at least one million Uyghurs and members of other mostly Muslim minorities have been incarcerated in the northwestern Xinjiang region, and Beijing has also been accused of squeezing human rights in Hong Kong.

"We have no ability to go into a country and tell them what to do... it's not our remit."

The IOC and its members choose who hosts the Games and help run the event.

The body styles itself as the "guardian" of the Olympics and vows to "build a better world through sport".

The Beijing Winter Olympics take place next February, but there have been calls for sponsors and others to boycott them or to find a way to protest the state of human rights in China.

The United States Congress has grilled five major sponsors -- including Visa and Airbnb -- accusing them of supporting the alleged genocide of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

In response, Beijing has accused U.S. politicians of "politicising sports" and of slandering China.

China has been ruled by the Communist Party since 1949 and has hosted the Olympics once before -- the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.

That event was widely viewed as a showcase for China's growing wealth and status as a rising power.

This time around, foreign fans will be banned due to coronavirus restrictions and the Winter Games will take place after several crackdowns -- including in Hong Kong -- designed to consolidate President Xi Jinping's power.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
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No mandate needed, just basic morals.

25 ( +28 / -3 )

Money before morals - the IOC way!!

20 ( +23 / -3 )

The body styles itself as the "guardian" of the Olympics and vows to "build a better world through sport".

And there is no better way of accomplishing that than by turning the Games into a propoganda showcase for brutally repressive authoritarian regimes, right?

Its the same disgusting body that awarded the 1936 Games to Nazi Germany, and using the exact same logic and justifications for it too.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Interpretation: China paid the IOC a boatload of money, so we aren't going to talk about anything they don't like.

It isn't about China. It is about human rights around the world. The IOC should be using their pulpit and standards to insist that all countries that participate meet minimal standards.

What those standards are is a different question.

Lots of other events have standards and "codes of conduct".

Why not the Olympics?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

"We are not a world government. We have to respect the sovereignty of the countries who are hosting the games," Coates told an event in his native Australia.

Just another way of saying "We don't care about the human rights atrocities that are being committed, as long as the country in question is throwing a lot of money our way"........

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Will gladly pay DOUBLE my monthly subscription fee to this media if they stop publishing any stories about the IOC. We endured 2 years of the IOC telling us it’s just not their business to get involved, Tired of their names and faces. We endured 2 years of the IOC telling us it’s just not their business to get involved. Please “Go away now.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

I think if you look up the word scumbag, Coates and Bach are 2 of the world's best examples. I literally cannot think of someone more deserving of the title than these 2

12 ( +14 / -2 )

We are not a world government. We have to respect the sovereignty of the countries who are hosting the games," Coates told an event in his native Australia.

Really? Did they do that with Japan?? Cause I remember Bach saying that the Tokyo Olympics were going to be held no matter what.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

It's all about the $$$ for the IOC. Simple as that. Just disregard things like pandemics, and the mass incarceration and genocide of Muslims taking place in the host nation. Look the other way. Why would Coates care about meaningless things like that when he gets his $600 dinners and $30,000 per night hotel rooms for free?

Boycott the Genocide Games 2022.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

When asked about the treatment of the Uyghur minority in China, IOC Vice President John Coates said the body has no mandate to act.

Under their charter, likely not.

But it IS within the purview of each and every nation to collectively ask itself what it wants to do with China.

Whether the conduct of the host country - that sufficient and persuasive evidence points to active, serious and on-going violations of clearly established international law and treaty that describes and prohibits the most heinous of crimes that the international community can recognize - is legally, ethically, and morally disturbing enough to merit modern society foregoing the event altogether.

Or for the nations to converse and establish a method to only celebrate the athletes and the competition, without rewarding the potentially felonious attitude of the host nation's leadership. Responsibility where it belongs: at the party and its leadership, without blame towards the Chinese people and their athletes?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

IOC mandate, a.k.a. Chinese money. It's in the name, I Owe China.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Oh, so the psychopaths at the IOC say?

I'm not surprised.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The IOC is only worried about getting paid. They also do not want to return all the bribes. I mean countries are paying the school fees for the children of IOC members.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Olympic games should be stopped altogether. It is an immoral and financially abusive organisation for which whoever pays the highest price is most important. The whole spirit of the Olympics has been lost for a long time ago. There are other ways that sportspeople can compete without oversite by corrupt IOC and it entire OC network!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The IOC's mandate is clear. Bilk nations for as much money as they can get, damn everything else.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

These "people" again........

They wouldn't stop for covid, they wouldn't stop for human decency. What makes anyone think they will stop the Beijing games? They should be indicted instead.

But from here on out, as long as a country is willing to host this nonsense, it will happen. Nothing short of WW3 will stop it.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Boycott the Genocide Olympics!

The IOC is intrinsically and systemically corrupt. It needs a root and branch cleansing (talk about the Augean stables) and reorganisation. Otherwise the Olympic ideal will be irredeemably lost (little evidence of it remains today).

Coats is typical of these vermin.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Olympics VP says China human rights 'not within' IOC mandate

Ahh so the Olympics committee are ok with what China is doing in Xinjiang.

Got it.

Well I am not so I will not be watching. I will also boycott any products from any company that supports those olympics. including JPT if they proceed to report on it.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It's heartening to see all those who lined up to demand politics be kept out of sport by protesting the knee-taking last year are also supporting the IOC's decision to keep politics out of the Olympics.

People who stick to their principles are rare these days.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If and when he learns to on his mask right, then may be he will realize the human rights violations not only in China but else where, The IOC is flooded with Chinese money so I doubt if he will ever see the facts.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"We are not a world government. We have to respect the sovereignty of the countries who are hosting the games...

"We have no ability to go into a country and tell them what to do... it's not our remit."

Tell that to ex-PM Suga, whom the IOC bullied and walked over in Tokyo a few months ago.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wasn't this guy who yelled at the QLD premier? We know where he gets his money from. What a loser.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The IOC is the face of pure capitalism,hypocrite and only caring of the money.

In one hand they wanted to show to the world that they were very concerned about the Covid and postponed the Tokyo summer Olympics for one year,but then after the sponsor pressured them they decided to go forward despites everything.

The spirit of the Olympics are long gone as Bach and his minions showed us.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If anyone expects these cash-hungry "sports organizations", already proven time and time again to be scandal plagued and corrupt to the core, to be the ones who will spearhead any protests or boycotts that might jeopardize all the cash...well, you're certainly hanging your hat on the wrong rack, friends.

Why would anyone think that the IOC would voluntarily bite the hand that actually feeds them? They're super excited about China's "Chinese-only olympics" even in the midst of Chinese intimidation of Taiwan, a crackdown on democratic freedoms in Hong Kong, a Chinese-sourced global health crisis affecting the world, and the destruction and persecution of minority domestic groups and cultures! (On with the Games!!)

Why would FIFA raise a stink about Qatar's support for international terrorism, or its slave-like treatment of migrant worker builders any more than it did about Russian corruption, human rights abuses or international political interference? (On with the Games!!)

After all, they've got the perfect excuse ready, forever and always: they're "just" sports associations.

Now, as for the milquetoast politicians currently running the world actually doing anything about anything? ....Yeah. Good luck with that!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They IOC is a sporting organisation not a political or activists organisation. It's entirely reasonable that they maintain the same position as they always do which is not to get involved in politics or activism. They have a contracts with their hosts and athletes and if they stick with that then only a wrong minded person could criticise them for not stepping outside their areas of responsibility.

Would I like to see countries and individuals around the world protest strongly about the human rights abuses in China, their blatant breach of the one country two systems agreement in Hong Kong, their invasion of Tibet, their increasing militarisation of the Info Pacific, their illegal territorial claims in the South China Sea and their bullying of trading partners, manipulation of currency and so forth? Of course I would but I don't think it's up to the IOC to take a stance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not sure who is more credible- this guy or WHO's Tedros?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Big League Looters

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, the local government can be committing genocide, but as long as we get our events and tv coverage, everything’s ok? The ioc are really asking the world to walk away from them..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At least one Uyghur person should be allowed in each final event at Beijing 2022 to bring more attention to the genocide that is happening to them while we all just chat about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hard for the Olympics to maintain neutrality if it picks political issues to crusade. Sport is what it is about and as much as people want to punish China for its actions against minority citizens, the Olympics can not. Nations can boycott or not as they each decide.

FIFA has not banned China from qualifying for the world cup but I hear no complaints about that.

Sporting bodies govern sports and sporting conduct. They are not moral policemen, so do not expect them to.

For what China has done and continues to do to the Uyghur minority in China, the UN is the most appropriate body to respond. For those not happy with Peking hosting the winter Olympics, lobby your own governments to boycott. These games were allocated to China many years ago before proof and the scale of atrocities was known or suspected.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Watching his speech at the National Press Club reinforced the concept of what a bumbling pawn of the IOC Coates is. Can only imagine the kicking and screaming performance that will ensue when another attempt to oust him as Australia's representative surfaces.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To be fair, let them host it. If china was to pour money on it, who are we to complain?

Just know that here in Japan we had our fill already of ever hosting this sort of thing for the next few decades. Wasted way too much tax money already.

If the chinese government want to pour billions of their people money on it and glorify the whole event, it's more the chinese problem than actually ours.

One thing i do want is that the companies in our country aren't gonna get involve in this whole thing and pull all sponsorship.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The doublethink is strong in this one. Double-plus good!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well I am not so I will not be watching. I will also boycott any products from any company that supports those olympics. including JPT if they proceed to report on it.

We have to backtrack and confirm that there is genocide or not. Due process is needed

Just because the AP is reporting there is no genocide in Xinjiang doesn’t mean there isn’t and vice versa. Due process.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Not going to go to bat for the IOC here, because well...it is the IOC. Nothing to do with human rights of the host country, not going to support or watch anything they do regardless of where.

But hasn't the AP even backtracked on the Xinjiang story? Or are people just going to keep running with that because it works for their agenda?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

treatment of the Uyghur minority in China

The latest AP story October 10th doesn’t even mention genocide. No evidence in six years.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

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