Bach said the IOC would not question China because it “has not the mandate nor the authority to solve the human rights problems” that are clearly “political issues.”
A recent report by Human Rights Watch said the internment centers in western China involved “arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment.”
“These rampant abuses violate fundamental rights of freedom of expression, religion, and privacy and protections from torture,” Human Rights Watch wrote.
China denies such internment camps exist but says criminals involved in minor offenses are sent to “vocational education and employment training centers” to help with their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
Bach suggested the committee would focus on issues like the rights of transgender athletes.
“We should concentrate on what we can really achieve and what we can really do,” Bach said.
The IOC has been faulted for overlooking human rights abuses in countries that spend billions to host the Olympics.
“Promoting humanistic values in sport has been a core feature of the IOC since its beginning,” Bach said in a prepared statement. “Our mission, to put sport at the service of humanity, goes hand in hand with human rights, which is part of our DNA.”
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