Calls to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics continued to escalate over alleged human rights concerns against minorities in western China. Beijing has no human rights requirements like future Olympic host cities Paris and Los Angeles, which are slated to host the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics respectively.
A coalition of groups representing Hong Kong residents, Tibetans, Uyghurs and others, issued a statement on Monday calling on “all governments and peoples, including all National Olympic Committees and Olympic athletes” to boycott the Games. winter of 2022.
“The Chinese government is committing genocide against the Uyghur people and waging an unprecedented campaign of repression in East Turkistan, Tibet and southern Mongolia, as well as an all-out attack on democracy in Hong Kong the group called Boycott Beijing 2022 wrote.
“To participate in the Beijing Olympics at this time would be to endorse China’s genocide against the Uyghur people and to legitimize the increasingly repressive policies of the totalitarian Chinese regime,” the group continued.
China was not subject to the same human rights requirements to host an Olympic Games that future venues must follow. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the “Olympic Agenda 2020” in December 2014, which emphasizes safeguarding the Olympic values and strengthening the role of sport in society.
The IOC and the Olympic Movement adopted this new agenda seven and a half months before awarding the 2022 Winter Games to Beijing during the IOC session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 31, 2015. However, the “ Olympic Agenda 2020 ”was not fully adopted with closing remarks until January 27, 2021 – long after Paris and Los Angeles had already hosted their Olympics.
Now, a groundswell of those calling for a boycott has reached a crescendo just under nine months after the opening ceremony in Beijing. The Boycott Beijing 2022 group has urged the IOC to cancel or postpone China’s upcoming Winter Olympics, saying the country has never fully delivered on its promises to curb allegations of such human rights violations before. the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
“Despite Beijing’s inability to deliver on its human rights promises made before the 2008 Summer Olympics, and despite repeated requests from affected populations and human rights groups to move or delay the Games 2022 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to put profit before human lives and turn a blind eye to the genocide, ”said the group. “It is now up to the international community to act.”
The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, which have been postponed to summer 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, will likely become a vocal showcase for the Beijing Winter Games boycott.
Lhadon Tethong of the Tibet Action Institute, who was arrested and ultimately expelled by the Chinese government in 2007 for leading a Tibetan campaign just before the famous Beijing 2008 Summer Games, is an outspoken organizer from Beijing.
“The time for discussions with the IOC is over,” Tethong told The Associated Press. “It cannot be games as usual or business as usual; neither for the IOC nor for the international community.”
Tethong said the IOC promised that the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics would improve human rights conditions in China, but that it only got worse.
“The situation we find ourselves in now is clearly worse than it was then,” Tethong said. “If the games go ahead, Beijing gets the international seal of approval for what they’re doing.”
The IOC has previously declared that it has nothing to do with world politics, wishing to remain “neutral” in the matter.
“We are not a supra-world government,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.
Meanwhile, Chinese government officials have said any boycott of their Games is “doomed.”
Neither Beijing nor China are obligated to tackle the human rights issues that arise there, but Paris and Los Angeles have already signed contracts to deal with issues arising in their countries.
It may be too late after the start and end of the Beijing Winter Games next year, but maybe the IOC has finally found a starting point to deal with these global atrocities.