O'Toole calls for relocation of Beijing Olympics due to China's 'genocide' of Uighurs

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OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole is calling on the government to push for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be moved outside China amid what he calls a genocide against minority Uighurs.

O'Toole says Canada should not send athletes to the Beijing Olympics next year while the state is committing human rights violations against part of its population.

The Conservative leader says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should reach out to the International Olympic Committee to discuss relocation of the games, though he stopped short of suggesting Canada should boycott them — or step up to host them.

China has been accused of using forced birth control to limit Uighur births and detention camps to indoctrinate the mostly-Muslim minority into mainstream Chinese society.

Beijing has denied any wrongdoing, saying it is running a voluntary employment and language-training program.

O'Toole's demand follows a letter from more than a dozen federal lawmakers from all parties earlier this month, calling for relocation of the games outside China due to what they deemed a "genocidal campaign" against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press