A coalition of over 180 rights groups urge boycott of 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing

Protesters hold Tibetan flags during a protest against Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics by activists of the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe, in front of the International Olympic Committee, IOC, headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo courtesy: AP)

(TibetanReview.net, Feb04’21) – A coalition of more than 180 human rights organizations has called for a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in protest against China’s massive, systematic human rights abuses. And activists from the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe (TYAE) staged a demonstration in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Feb 3.

The protest took place as China celebrated the one-year countdown to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

In an open letter published this week, coalition of groups – primarily regional associations in support of Tibet, Taiwan, the Uighur community and Hong Kong, said: “The IOC refused to listen in 2008, defending its decision with claims that they would prove to be a catalyst for improved human rights. As human rights experts predicted, this decision proved to be hugely misplaced; not only did China’s human rights record not improve but violations increased substantially without rebuke.

“Now, in 2021, we find ourselves back in the same position with the IOC who are refusing to act despite the clear evidence of genocide and widespread and worsening human rights failures.”

China has been accused of committing genocide in Xinjiang and its repression of ethnic identity of minorities in Tibet, Inner Mongolia and other territories as well under its rule remains unprecedented. Its promise of democracy and rule of law in Hong Kong after taking over the territory from Britain is already going the way of Tibet for which Beijing had promised a version of “one country, two systems” policy in 1951.

Asked about the letter, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing, “all Winter Games lovers are looking forward to taking part in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics”, reported theguardian.com Feb 4.

“We are fully confident the Beijing Winter Olympics will be a splendid event. In the meantime I must point out that it is highly irresponsible for some parties to try and disrupt, intervene, and sabotage the preparation and holding of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games to serve their political interests,” Wang was quoted as saying.

He has expressed disdain for the protests, saying, “Such actions will not be supported by the international community and will never succeed.”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the IOC of failing its due diligence in not conducting a human rights risk assessment.

“The IOC knows the Chinese authorities are arbitrarily detaining Uighurs and other Muslims, expanding state surveillance, and silencing numerous peaceful critics,” Sophie Richardson, HRW’s China director, has said. “Its failure to publicly confront Beijing’s serious human rights violations makes a mockery of its own commitments and claims that the Olympics are a ‘force for good’.”

Meanwhile, the United States has not changed its posture or plans regarding the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, scheduled to open a year from now, reported China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Feb 4, citing the White House Feb 3.


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