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||TOKYO -- A coalition of 180 rights groups on Wednesday called for a boycott of next year's Beijing Winter Olympics, tied to reported human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in China.
The games are to open in one year, on Feb. 4, 2022, and are set to go forward despite the pandemic.
The coalition is composed of groups representing Tibetans, Uighurs, Inner Mongolians, residents of Hong Kong, and others.
The groups have issued an open letter to governments calling for a boycott of the Olympics "to ensure they are not used to embolden the Chinese government's appalling rights abuses and crackdowns on dissent."
Rights groups have previously asked the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee to move the games from China. The IOC has largely ignored the demands and says it's only a sporting body that does not get involved with politics.
The groups said because of the IOC's inaction, "it now falls on governments to take a stand and demonstrate that they have the political will to push back against China's reprehensible human rights abuses."