Rights Groups Call For Boycott of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Citing Worsening Abuses — Radio Free Asia

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China’s worsening rights report in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong has disqualified Beijing from internet hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, greater than 180 rights teams and activists stated in a letter despatched to the International Olympic Committee this week.

Participation within the Games will solely encourage China to commit additional abuses, the joint letter signed by rights campaigners advised the Lausanne, Switzerland-based IOC whereas calling on overseas athletes and governments to boycott the occasion, scheduled to be held in Beijing from Feb. 4 to twenty, 2022.

“The IOC refused to listen in 2008, defending its decision with claims that they would prove to be a catalyst for improved human rights,” learn the letter, referring to controversy surrounding Beijing’s internet hosting the 2008 Summer Games.

“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,” it stated.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Jan. 19 introduced that China’s abuses within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) met the definition of genocide — a designation that Uyghur exile teams have advocated for the reason that revelation in 2017 of mass internment camps which have held as many as 1.8 million Uyghurs and different Muslim minorities.

In a protest held exterior IOC places of work in Lausanne on Feb. 3, members of the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe (TYAE) shouted slogans calling for freedom in Tibet, the place Chinese authorities have jailed activists for cultural and non secular freedoms, environmental safety, and language rights, and the place over 150 Tibetans have burned themselves to dying to oppose Chinese rule.

“The IOC knows full well the extent of China’s human rights abuses,” TYAE member Tashi Shitsetsang advised RFA’s Tibetan Service throughout the protest, including, “We have told them directly.”

“But they have actively chosen to ignore us and to turn a blind eye to the brutal occupation of Tibet, the crackdown in Hong Kong, and the genocide that is happening in East Turkestan,” he stated, referring to the XUAR.

“The IOC has the blood of our people on its hands,” Shitsetsang stated.

Also chatting with RFA, Tibetan activist Tenzin Netsang added that with out robust IOC polices put in place to deal with Beijing’s abuses, “the Games will be [only] an effective endorsement of its failure to improve human rights since 2008, not an incentive for future improvements.”

Many damaged guarantees

In a Feb. 3 assertion, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that China had made “numerous promises” to guard human rights in its profitable bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, additionally held in Beijing.

“Yet, during the 2008 Games, the authorities repeatedly violated the fundamental rights they had pledged to uphold, including by censoring the media and the internet, arbitrarily arresting journalists, and abusing workers’ rights,” HRW stated.

Since that point, the Chinese authorities have solely deepened their repression, the rights group stated, including, “President Xi Jinping’s government has crushed nascent civil society, targeted labor rights activists, imposed draconian policies in Xinjiang and Tibet, and trampled fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong.”

China imposed a draconian nationwide safety legislation on Hong Kong in mid-2020, successfully ending the autonomy town was promised by way of 2047 below the “One Country, Two Systems” association that ruled the previous British colony’s handover to China.

Now the IOC has did not conduct a human rights danger evaluation forward of the 2022 Winter Games, and has ignored detailed expressions of concern despatched by HRW concerning the Chinese authorities’s rights report, the rights group stated.

“The IOC knows the Chinese authorities are arbitrarily detaining Uyghurs and other Muslims, expanding state surveillance, and silencing numerous peaceful critics,” stated HRW China director Sophie Richardson. “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.’”

“The IOC can’t hold itself out as an exemplar on human rights when it only defends them where doing so is easy,” added Minky Worden—director of world initiatives at Human Rights Watch.

“[And] despite the IOC’s expressed commitments to push for positive change, there is no visible evidence it has pressed Chinese authorities to meet any human rights obligations,” Worden stated.

Reported and translated by Tashi Wangchuk for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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