Marriott rejected Uyghur conference to maintain ‘political neutrality’

The Prague Marriott cited “reasons of political neutrality” for its choice to decline to host the World Uyghur Congress, in accordance to an e-mail first reported by Axios.

In an announcement, Marriott International (MAR), Inc. stated the Prague lodge’s response to the group was “not consistent with our policies.” Marriott stated the Prague lodge’s administration crew has reached out to the group to apologize.
“We are working with the hotel team to provide additional training and education on our longstanding practices of inclusion,” Marriott stated. Marriott confirmed that final month, the Prague Marriott despatched an e-mail to the activist group explaining that the deliberate November conference wouldn’t be held on the location — after consulting with company administration.
“Unfortunately, I have to inform you that we are not able to offer the premises. We consulted the whole matter with our corporate management. For reasons of political neutrality, we cannot offer events of this type with a political theme,” the e-mail stated. Marriott International instructed CNN this was a “hotel-level decision” and the reference to “corporate management” refers to the administration of the Prague lodge.

Activists discover Marriott’s response “chilling.”

Based in Germany, the World Uyghur Congress is made up of exiled Uyghurs and people in search of to draw consideration to allegations of genocide within the Xinjiang area of China. An impartial report by greater than 50 world consultants launched in March discovered the Chinese authorities “bears state responsibility for an ongoing genocide against the Uyghur” in violation of the United Nations’ Genocide Convention. Chinese state media has referred to as the World Uyghur Congress a terrorist group. China has additionally denied human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet and has referred to as the allegations of genocide “preposterous.”

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Zumretay Arkin, a program and advocacy supervisor for the World Uyghur Congress, confirmed that Marriott did attain out to the group’s consultant in Prague. “But I’m still waiting for an official apology,” Arkin stated on Twitter.
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In an interview with Axios, Arkin stated Marriott’s response was “shocking.” “We organize international events all the time and this is the first time we were given this excuse,” Arkin instructed Axios. “It is chilling because of the broader concept of how China is really disrupting Western democracies.” In its assertion to CNN, Marriott stated it’s dedicated to “giving a warm welcome to all.” “We are in the hospitality business, welcoming people from all around the world and from all walks of life representing many beliefs,” the corporate stated. The incident is the most recent misstep for Marriott involving China, a significant and fast-growing marketplace for the lodge chain.

In 2018, Chinese authorities blocked the Marriott web site and app after the corporate listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate “countries” in its emails and app. Marriott apologized profusely and insisted it respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.

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