China says it chose an athlete with Uyghur roots to help light the Olympic torch.
It comes as China faces scrutiny over accusations of human rights violations.
The US has previously said that China's repression of the Uyghurs constitutes as "genocide."
China says that it chose an athlete with Uyghur roots to help light the Olympic torch during the opening ceremony for the 2022 winter games on Friday.
Dinigeer Yilamujiang, a cross-country skier, is said by the Chinese to be a Uyghur — a predominantly Muslim Turkic ethnic group native to China's western region of Xinjiang — according to reports from The New York Times and NBC News.
The move to have Yilamujiang take part in the lighting ceremony, which officially kicks off Olympic festivities, comes as China faces scrutiny from international rights groups over accusations of human rights violations and abuses.
Human Rights Watch has said that Chinese authorities detained as many as one million Uyghur Muslims in "so-called political education camps" where they have been subjected to abuse and rights violations.
"Detainees and prisoners are subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, cultural and political indoctrination, and forced labor," Human Rights Watch said.
In the final days of Donald Trump's presidency, the US State Department officially determined that China's repression of the Uyghurs constituted as "genocide."
Leading up to the Beijing games, the White House announced a diplomatic boycott, citing "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity" by the Chinese government — a move that other countries have followed.
China has denied all allegations of abuse against the Uyghurs, Insider previously reported.
"Human rights violations cannot be sportswashed," Amnesty International tweeted on Friday.
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