Last month, prominent Uighur rights group World Uighur Congress launched a similar appeal to the IOC over what it said were crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.The IOC responded that would remain neutral on political issues and said it had received assurances from Chinese authorities that they would respect the principles of the Olympic charter.The IOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.China has already made extensive preparations for the upcoming Games, which they say are on track to be held from Feb. 4-20, 2022.There was similar outcry from rights groups ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At the time, the IOC defended the choice, saying the Games were a force for good. Over 160 human rights advocacy groups have delivered a joint letter to the chief of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) calling for it to reconsider its choice to award China the 2022 Winter Games in light of Beijing’s human rights record.It is the largest such coordinated effort so far following several months of similar calls from individual rights groups, and comes as Beijing is facing increased international backlash over policies including its treatment of ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang and new security laws in Hong Kong.”The IOC must recognize that the Olympic spirit and the reputation of the Olympic Games will suffer further damage if the worsening human rights crisis, across all areas under China’s control, is simply ignored,” said the letter, which was released on Tuesday. The letter argues that the prestige of the Beijing 2008 Olympics emboldened the government to take further actions, including programs targeting Xinjiang Uighurs and other ethnic policies.China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter, but has on many occasions fiercely defended its rights record.It maintains policies in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong are key to national security and social stability.Among the letter’s signatories are Uighur, Tibetan, Hong Kong and Mongolian rights groups based in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Australia. Topics :
Partners Group has bought a real estate portfolio in Finland and Sweden for €300m at a discount on the secondary market.The Swiss private market investment manager acquired the retail and office properties from investors in a fund managed by Nordic investment manager Niam.The 380,000sqm portfolio, built up in 2006-07, comprised the remaining assets in Niam Fund III.The fund will be wound up, but Niam will continue to manage the properties with Partners Group. Fund manager Urban Ehrling said he was leaving Niam following the transaction.Partners Group said it “provided an off-market solution, allowing an exit for investors and time to maximise the value creation potential of all remaining assets over the next 3-5 years”.Fabian Neuenschwander, vice-president in real estate secondaries, said: “The Finnish and Swedish real estate markets will continue to perform well in the coming years, and we see this transaction as a unique opportunity for our clients to benefit from this development.”As part of the deal, done in June and July, Partners Group was involved in negotiating the refinancing of all the portfolio’s existing debt facilities, as well as the buyout of minority shareholders and joint-venture partners.It was also involved in preparing a mezzanine facility in the capital structure of one of the investments at preferential terms.Niam said it would work with Partners Group over the next few years to execute a strategy for generating value in the properties.Pekka Salakka, senior director at Niam, said: “Niam is very familiar with these properties because we have been successfully operating these assets since the build-up of the portfolio.”Partners Group has made a number of transactions on the secondary market in recent years.Last month it said it bought 31 investors out of the $1bn (€776m) troubled Chinese property fund Trophy Property Development.