China: NGOs call for diplomatic Olympic boycott

Status: 01/28/2022 07:54 a.m

NGOs are urging governments to join a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics. The Olympics cannot develop a “positive force” if the government in Beijing commits serious crimes.

Ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, 243 non-governmental organizations from around the world are deploring atrocities and serious human rights violations by the Chinese government. They urge governments to join a diplomatic boycott of the games. Athletes and sponsors should not legitimize government human rights abuses.

“Harder to fight for justice”

The fact that the Winter Olympics are being held in Beijing is “a signal to the world that Xi Jinping’s government is unproblematic,” said Chinese Human Rights Defenders director Renee Xia. “When the world ignores such a catastrophic human rights situation, it becomes even more difficult for the victims to fight for justice.”

Independent civil society abolished

Under President Xi, China’s authorities have carried out massive crackdowns on Uyghurs, Tibetans, other ethnic groups and adherents of all independent faiths, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. They virtually abolished independent civil society by persecuting human rights activists, lawyers, journalists and others.

Hong Kong’s “once thriving civil society” has been eroded and technology-enabled surveillance has expanded “to significantly restrict the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly.”

“The Olympic Games cannot produce a ‘positive force’, as claimed by the International Olympic Committee, if the host country’s government commits serious crimes and violates international law,” said HRW China Director Sophie Richardson.

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