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UHRP: The 2022 Winter Olympics and Beijing’s Uyghur Policy: Sports in the Shadows of Concentration Camps

For immediate release
October 21, 2019 5:20 pm EST

Contact: Dr. Kevin Carrico (Skype) kevinjcarrico (Email)

Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 478 1920

In 2015, Beijing was awarded the rights to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. While the government of the People’s Republic of China has overseen preparations for the 2022 Games under the motto of “joyful rendezvous upon pure ice and snow,” the same state has also overseen the development of a network of concentration camps in East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang).

In a case of blatant profiling, inmates are detained not due to any crime, but solely due to their ethno-religious identity. Guilt is presumed for anyone of Uyghur, Kazakh, or other Turkic backgrounds. Camp inmates have been held without trial and without a sentence: in effect, indefinite secret detention. In addition, reports are emerging of a growing number of Uyghurs being sentenced to 10 or more years in prison, often without trial.

The Olympic Charter lists as one of the movement’s goals “the preservation of human dignity.” Such policies of racial profiling and arbitrary detention would be an outrage in any country participating in the Olympic movement, much less the host country.

In a new policy brief written for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, Dr. Kevin Carrico, Senior Research Fellow at Monash University, calls for urgent international attention to this looming challenge for the international community.

Entitled The 2022 Winter Olympics and Beijing’s Uyghur Policy: Sports in the Shadows of Concentration Camps, it outlines the political implications of the Olympic Games for the Chinese Communist Party, Beijing’s open contravention of the principles contained in the Olympic Charter, and actionable recommendations to the international community.


The Diplomat: The Case for Boycotting Beijing 2022

The mass internment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang merits a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Commenting upon Beijing’s successful bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, International Ski Federation President Gian Franco Kasper quipped to a Swiss newspaper this past February that “everything is easier in dictatorships.”

Four years ago, China narrowly beat out Kazakhstan’s competing bid, and Beijing is now poised to become the first city in the world to have hosted both summer and winter Olympic Games.

But rather than allowing China to bask in Olympic fanfare, the internment of as many as 1 million ethnic Uyghurs in the western Xinjiang province has laid the groundwork for a boycott by elected leaders and athletes from the United States, and by other delegations.

If the Chinese capital was a hopeful débutante in the lead-up to its 2008 summer event, holding its head high despite complaints of media censorship, displaced Beijing residents, underage gymnasts, and air pollution, the 2022 event is likely to be billed as the glittering coronation of an ascendant and increasingly assertive China.

In 2014, on the basis of purchasing power parity, China regained its title as the world’s leading economy, a superlative it last held in 1890, and by 2016 it overtook the United States as the world’s largest manufacturer.

But in 2016, Chinese authorities commenced the forcible detention of thousands of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities, including entire families, into so-called “political education” centers, the beginnings of an authoritarian indoctrination campaign aimed at the repression of Uyghur language, identity, and religious expression.


Petition: China: Respect Uyghur Rights Before Hosting 2022 Olympics (Uyghurche/中文/日本語/Türkçe/عربى)

China intends to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing while committing what some are calling crimes against humanity in its far western region.

The Uyghur population, a Turkic, mostly Muslim, ethnic group living primarily in the far western region of China, is now facing the destruction of their cultural identity as a result of deliberate Chinese policies.

Hundreds of political indoctrination (or internment) camps dotting the region hold an estimated 1-2 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in arbitrary detention to undergo ‘thought transformation’.

The centers are designed to force detainees to pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party, renounce religious beliefs, discontinue the use of their mother language, and abandon their way of life.

The stated spirit of the Games is one of openness and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles, placing sport, “at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”

Furthermore, belonging to the Olympic Movement requires compliance with the Olympic Charter as well as recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). At present, the Chinese government is not behaving in line with the standards set out in the Charter itself and will need to radically change course ahead of 2022.

The IOC has a clear responsibility to ensure that the Olympic Games are held in a country that respects international norms. If China maintains its internment camp policy into 2022, they are not a fit host.

The choice is simple: Close the camps, or lose the Olympics.

Please sign this petition to urge the IOC to take urgent action ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan to ensure the camps are closed ahead of the Olympics in 2022.

CFU: The U.S. must lead removing hosting rights of the Winter Olympics 2022 from Communist China

The Campaign for Uyghurs has begun a petition through We the People, and would like to ask for your support. If this petition gets 100,000 signatures within 30 days of its creation, the White House will review its contents and respond. More background information can be found below and on our website.

You can view and sign the petition here:

The U.S. must lead removing hosting rights of the Winter Olympics 2022 from Communist China

Thanks for raising your voice!

July 2019 Open Letter to the International Olympic Organizing Committee

Dear International Olympic Committee members,

The whole world is aware of the human rights abuses committed by the government of the Peoples Republic of China. Well documented abuses include the suppression of religious activities (including bull-dozing churches, mosques, and temples,) millions detained in ‘re-education’ camps and a mass surveillance system the East German Stasi only wished they had.

The policies of the government of the Peoples Republic of China are the antithesis of Olympism philosophy.

  • Continued attempts to eradicate Tibetan, Mongolian, Turkic Muslim (including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Uzbeks,) and others’ cultures and languages removes tens of millions from being able to share or educate others about their culture or history.
  • There is no joy of the effort expended in sport when minority athletes are jailed when they return from training overseas as covered in the media concerning two (2) young Uyghur soccer players (1) (2). The chilling prospect of imprisonment for training overseas does not resemble Olympism; striving for excellence in performing extra training should be applauded, not punished.
  • As far as the ‘respect for universal fundamental ethical principles,’ the government of the Peoples Republic of China violates many of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a matter of public policy, not some secret plan. The ‘re-training’ camps holding millions of Turkic Muslims is a clear example. One has to wonder why so many Uyghur intellectuals need to be ‘re-trained’? Why are retired medical doctors being ‘re-trained’? There should be no illusion these draconian measures are anything but cultural genocide against peoples with over a thousand years of their own history.

When Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympiad, the world was told how it would help bring China into the ‘fold of nations’ and their behaviors would change. The government of the Peoples Republic of China wasn’t listening and was emboldened to enact even further draconian measures against law abiding citizens for a difference of opinion or their ethnicity.

We, the undersigned, believe the location of the 2022 Winter Olympiad should be changed due to the egregious behavior of the host nation towards its own citizens and the appalling human rights abuses, including the internment of millions of their own citizens based on ethnicity alone. In 1936, Hitler had not started to murder his victims, but in 2022, you could have done something to affect the host country’s behavior.

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