“Generally speaking, my instinct is to separate sport from diplomacy and politics. But there comes a point where that may not be possible. I’d say let’s gather the evidence, let’s work with our international partners, let’s consider in the round what further action we need to take”, Raab said.
The Chinese Communist Party has for the last three years forced the Uyghur community into re-education camp in Xinjiang, an autonomous region in China that borders the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.
Beijing has labelled the camps as “help centres”, which the Communist Party claims are designed to combat religious extremism. Leaked documents earlier showed that the centers are forced ideological re-education camps.
The United Nations estimates that more than a million Muslims have been incarcerated in Xinjiang. The main reason people are sent to the camps is having too many children.
“The more the international community addresses its mind to it, the more I think we do need to look very carefully to what action we take. The concerns of what is happening to the Uyghurs – the detention, the mistreatment, the forced sterilisation – is something we cannot just turn away from. We want to gather the evidence carefully”, Raab said.
Britain has sent athletes to every summer and winter Olympics, including the 1980 Moscow Games which were boycotted by the United States.