PRESS RELEASE:  International Olympic Day: Pressure Mounts to Boycott Beijing 2022

Press Release – For Immediate Release
22 June 2021
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
+49 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

International Olympic Day: Pressure Mounts to Boycott Beijing 2022 – ‘The Genocide Games’ – As Global Rights Groups Unite in Protests around the World

Governments, Olympic Committees and Sponsors All Targeted to Ditch Support for Beijing 2022; China’s Uyghur Genocide Cited as a ‘Red Line’

[23 June 2021] On International Olympic Day [1] campaigners representing Tibetan, Uyghur, Southern Mongolian, Hongkonger, Taiwanese, and Chinese people will unite around the globe in over 60 global cities [2] calling on world leaders, National Olympic Committees, Olympic Sponsors and all people of conscience to boycott Beijing 2022, ‘The Genocide Games.’ 

From New Zealand to Canada, Japan to Argentina, Australia to Sweden, thousands of people will stand in solidarity to deliver the joint message that China must not be allowed to use Beijing 2022 to ‘sport-wash’ the genocide against the Uyghur people, the severe and escalating repression in Tibet, Southern Mongolia, Hong Kong, and China proper, and the geopolitical bullying of Taiwan. [3]

Dolkun Isa  from World Uyghur Congress said: “Olympic Day is supposed to be a day to celebrate diversity, peace, friendship and respect, but China, the next Winter Games hosts, carrying out a genocide against Uyghurs and serious crimes against Tibetans, Mongolians, Hong Kongers and others, there is no room for celebration. Instead, we urge governments, National Olympic Associations, sponsors and athletes to use Olympic Day to commit to not supporting China’s heinous human rights abuses and say no to Beijing 2022.”

Frances Hui from We The Hongkongers said: “We are gathering around the world today to call on the IOC, world governments, athletes, sponsors, and all concerned citizens to do the right thing and boycott next year’s event. Anything less than outright opposition to Beijing 2022 – which will be staged against a horrific backdrop of genocide and crimes against humanity – will forever stain the olympic movement and our collective conscience.”

Pema Doma from Students for a Free Tibet said: “We have no choice but to call for a boycott of Beijing 2022 because we are witnessing one of the worst human rights crises of our time and the International Olympic Committee has completely failed to respond. How can we stand aside and allow China to parade its propaganda in front of the world while behind the pomp and ceremony there is a genocide being carried out? Surely that is a red line that we all know must not be crossed.” 

Jenny Wang from Keep Taiwan Free said: “Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers, Taiwanese and Chinese are united on the streets today to send a clear message that support for Beijing 2022 will be seen as an endorsement of China’s severe and extensive crackdown on freedom and human rights. We urge everyone to stand on the right side of history by not supporting The Genocide Games.”

Teng Biao from China Against the Death Penalty said, “Today’s global protests are a testament to the solidarity of those fighting for rights, freedom and democracy for all those living under Chinese rule. Today we witness Tibetans demanding an end to the genocide and mass internment of Uyghurs; Chinese and Hong Kong activists speaking out against seven decades of repression in Tibet; Uyghur activists standing in solidarity with Hongkongers and Southern Mongolians; and Southern Mongolians demanding an end of Beijing’s bullying of Taiwan.”

Rushan Abbas from Campaign For Uyghurs said: Ending support for the Chinese government’s human rights abuses is a no brainer and boycotting Beijing 2022 is a necessity to stop China simply ‘sportswashing’ away the Uyghur genocide and crimes against humanity.”  

Lhadon Tethong from Tibet Action Institute said: “There is simply no way the Olympics can go ahead while China is committing genocide against the Uyghur people and carrying out an escalating campaign of repression in Tibet, Hong Kong and beyond. In the coming months, we plan to drive up the pressure on global governments, National Olympic Committees and Olympic sponsors like NBC to do the right thing and boycott Beijing 2022.”  

Support for a boycott of Beijing 2022 has grown exponentially since activists released a joint letter to governments in September 2020. Parliaments [5] and elected representatives [6] from across the political divide agree that supporting the Beijing 2022 Olympics is tantamount to endorsing China’s human rights abuses.

As human rights experts warned, the 2008 Summer Games led to a further crackdown on human rights and took place without any meaningful human rights due diligence. Contrary to China’s commitment to hold a “free and open” Olympic Games in 2008, Beijing continued to clamp down on the international media, and quashedall freedom of expression for Tibetans wishing to voice their opinions about the Games.

  • END – 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  1. https://olympians.org/news/51/olympians-all-over-the-world-celebrate-olympic-day/
  2. Protests are taking place in at least 55 towns and cities including Wellington (NZ); Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane (AU); Jakarta (ID); Tokyo, Fukuoka (JP); Taipei (TW); New Delhi, Dharamsala (IN); Jo’Burg (SA); Rome (IT); Prague (CZ); Lausanne, Zurich (SW); Vienna (AS); Paris (FR); Barcelona (SP); Lisbon (PT); Brussels (BE); Luxembourg (LU); London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Birmingham (UK); Stockholm (SE); Oslo (NO); Copenhagen (DN); New York, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Eugene, San Francisco (US); Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver (CA); Mexico City (MX); Buenos Aires (AG) See the global map of protests at NoBeijing2022.org
  3. Sport-washing is identified as being employed by authoritarian regimes that use mega-sports events to reboot their reputations.

4 The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is set to happen amid one of the world’s worst crackdowns against freedom, democracy, and human rights where:

– At least two million Uyghur, Kazakh and Uzbek Muslims are detained in “re-education camps” undergoing systematic torture, rape and political re-education, https://xjdp.aspi.org.au/explainers/uyghurs-for-sale/;

– Illegally occupied Tibet received the lowest score in Freedom House’s 2020 global ranking on civil and political rights, alongside Syria, https://freedomhouse.org/countries/freedom-world/scores?sort=asc&order=Total%20Score%20and%20Status;

– In Hong Kong, the Chinese government has implemented a draconian National Security Bill that effectively criminalizes protest and curtails any remaining human rights, https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3086601/hong-kong-protests-nearly-100-children-among-396-arrested;

– Protests by Southern Mongolians, whose rights, language and culture being eradicated, are put down with force;

– Detention & disappearance of countless Chinese lawyers, feminists & activists, and- Intimidation, and

– Geopolitical bullying of Taiwan and aggression and expansion across borders – in the South China Sea and India-Tibet border – present a clear threat to regional and global security.

  1. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mps-call-for-relocation-of-2022-beijing-olympics-1.5904286.

Czech Senate Calls for Political Boycott of Winter Olympics in China: https://praguemorning.cz/czech-senate-calls-for-political-boycott-of-winter-olympics-in-china/

6.IPAC coordinates legislative actions on Beijing Olympics across 11 parliaments: https://ipac.global/ipac-coordinates-legislative-actions-across-11-parliaments-on-beijing-olympics/.

Pelosi calls for U.S. and world leaders to boycott China’s 2022 Olympics: https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/pelosi-says-us-should-diplomatically-boycott-2022-olympics-china-2021-05-18/.