Category Archives: Boycott

Reuters: Athletes have real concerns about Beijing 2022, says human rights group head

Athletes have legitimate concerns about the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and organisers need to be transparent in addressing them, says the Centre for Sport and Human Rights chief executive Mary Harvey.

Human rights groups have urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take the Games out of China because of the treatment of Uighur Muslims, along with other human rights concerns.

China denies human rights abuses.

“I’d like information and transparency of the situation,” Harvey said when asked whether she was comfortable with the Games taking place in the country.

“I think right now in the absence of information it’s difficult to say. I think sunlight is the best antiseptic.”

Goalkeeper for the U.S. soccer team that won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Harvey said sport was more aware of human rights than ever and athletes and fans were asking more questions.

“They do care about where products were made that they might be purchasing, they care about whether or not they are going to be in some cases safe or able to speak freely. They are legitimate concerns,” she added.

U.S. Olympic champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin said in March she should not have to choose between her “morals” and her “job”

“It’s building, it’s increasing in volume. People have concerns,” said Harvey of criticism of the Games and calls for a boycott.

“People who are advocating are becoming louder in their advocacy. And they are asking for some information. They would like more information to disprove what they are fearful of.

“In the absence of that, it probably will get worse before the Games… it could be they come off without a hitch, it could be that you are going to have athletes saying things or protesting. That’s possible too. It’s their right to do so.”

As a former athlete, she questioned whether boycotts worked and said it was never good “when somebody takes the right to compete away”.

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SCMP: Too early to talk about boycotting China’s Winter Olympics: Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Washington is consulting with its allies on concerns over Xinjiang but talk of an Olympics boycott is ‘premature’. Photo: AP

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was “premature” to discuss a boycott of the Beijing-hosted Winter Olympics in 2022, but that the US would take “concrete actions” to ensure it was not using products made in Xinjiang over its human rights abuses there.

In a Sunday interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Blinken said the US was “not focused on a boycott” but was consulting closely with allies and partners on their concerns in Xinjiang, where up to 1 million ethnic Uygurs and other minorities are believed to have been detained.

He said the US needed to “bring the world together” to condemn Beijing’s repression of ethnic Uygurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, and ensure that US companies were not providing China with things that could be used for repression.

“We need to be looking at products that are made in that part of China to make sure that they’re not coming here; but we also have to make sure that we are dealing with all of our interests, and what is the best way to effectively advance our interests and our values,” Blinken said.

“We have to be able to deal with China on areas where those interests are implicated and require working with China, even as we stand resolutely against egregious violations of human rights or, in this case, acts of genocide.”

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Calls grow louder to boycott Beijing’s Olympics — and analysts warn of retaliation from China

Countries and companies outside China face rising pressure to boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year, but China will not sit back idly in response, says political risk consultancy Eurasia Group.

“Western governments and firms face mounting pressure from human rights advocates and political critics of China to boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics,” according to Eurasia Group analysts.

The Games are due to take place between February 4 to 20.

“China will punish countries that boycott the Games with political sanctions and commercial retaliation, but with much greater severity in the athletic boycott scenario,” they said in a report published Thursday.

“Campaigners have focused on Beijing’s targeted repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, which some Western governments have called ‘genocide,‘” the report said. “Calls to shun what activists label the ‘Genocide Games’ will grow as the opening ceremony approaches, increasing risks for governments, corporates, and investors — whether they decide to boycott or not.”

Last month, the governments of Canada, the United Kingdom and United States issued a joint statement accusing the Chinese government of inflicting an “extensive program of repression” on the Uyghur people including detention camps, forced labor and forced sterilizations.

China has repeatedly denied allegations of forced labor and other abuses in Xinjiang. The foreign ministry last month called such claims “malicious lies” designed to “smear China” and “frustrate China’s development.”

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China Warns Their Lapdog Biden Not to Boycott Olympics

PSAKI: ‘We have not discussed, and are not discussing, any joint boycott with allies and partners…’

Chinese attendants dressed in winter costumes rehearse the award ceremony for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics/AP Photo

(Headline USA) China‘s government warned the Biden administration on Wednesday not to boycott next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing after the White House said it was talking with allies about a joint approach to complaints of human rights abuses.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson rejected accusations of abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.

He warned of an unspecified “robust Chinese response” to a potential Olympics boycott.

“The politicization of sports will damage the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes from all countries,” said the government’s top propagandist, Zhao Lijian. “The international community including the U.S. Olympic Committee will not accept it.”

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SCMP: More than half of Canadians support Beijing Olympics boycott, survey shows

Staff members of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Aquatics Center, now known as the Ice Cube, in Beijing on Thursday. A new survey suggests that more than half of Canadians favor boycotting the games. Photo: Reuters

More than half of Canadians oppose participation in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, according to a recent survey, underscoring the negative public opinion in the country toward China stemming from allegations of human rights abuses.

Online polling of 1,000 Canadians found that 54 per cent believe that the country “definitely should / probably should” boycott the international competition, while 24 per cent said “probably should not / definitely should not”, Canadian polling firm Research Co. said on Thursday. Twenty-one per cent of the respondents said they were not sure.

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EU Today: Brussels conference calls for Beijing to be stripped of 2022 Winter Olympics over human rights abuses, or face boycott!

EU Today

A conference at the Brussels Press Club on Monday heard arguments in favour of Beijing being stripped of the 2022 Winter Olympics because of its repression of its Uyghur Muslim minority in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, or for a boycott of the spectacle.

“I hope that all the EU countries could get together to decide to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics”, said Finnish Green MEP Alviina Alametsa.
She continued, “It is positive that the EU has condemned China’s human rights violations… we now have to choose what are the lines that China cannot cross without consequences, but to me the lines have already been passed.”

Co-founder and CEO of Hong Kong Watch, Benedict Rogers was in agreement, stating that “with regard to the Winter Olympics, either a boycott, or if we can put pressure on the IOC to think about moving the Olympics even at this late stage, my understanding is that some political groups in Canada have called for this, and have offered Canada as an alternative location, and there are a number of European countries of course that have the capability to host Winter Olympics.”

Senior parliamentarian Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the British Conservative party, who is leading the debate in his country’s parliament on the imposition of “Magnitsky” sanctions against the Chinese leadership, and who addressed the Brussels conference on that particular issue has also been vocal in calling for a boycott.

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Rick Scott: If Olympic Committee Can Ban Russia for Doping, It Can Move Winter Games Out of China

Florida Daily

Last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach following the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to ban the nation of Russia from competing in Olympic Games, but still allowing China to host the 2022 Olympic Games.

For more than a year, Scott has been calling on the Committee to urge China to stop violating human rights or find a new home for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Scott’s letter is below.

Dear President Bach:

I write today about the recent decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to ban Russia from participating in international sporting events through 2022 because of the country’s doping practices. I understand that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was an intervening party in CAS’s case, and I appreciate your desire to hold those accountable for unfair and unsportsmanlike conduct.

However, I cannot understand why the IOC is comfortable punishing Russia for failing to comply with rules, while allowing Communist China, who continues to commit a genocide against the Uyghurs, to host the 2022 Olympic Games.

As you are aware, Communist China is committing a genocide against the Uyghur population living in Xinjiang. More than one million Uyghurs are detained in concentration camps designed to erase the religious and ethnic cultural identities of the Uyghurs. Through torture, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) threatens Uyghurs to forsake their language, their faith and their culture. Uyghur women are forcibly sterilized and have intrauterine devices placed inside them to prevent more births of Uyghurs. Some have abortions forcibly performed on them. Those who are not being tortured inside the camps work as slave laborers in factories.

Why would the IOC want to punish Russia for doping, but refuse to take a stand against Communist China’s genocide? Why would the IOC go after Russians for consuming illicit drugs, yet remain silent while the country hosting the 2022 Olympic Games is enslaving, torturing, and harvesting the organs of millions of its citizens?

The IOC has a mandate to uphold the principles of Olympism, including social responsibility and preservation of human dignity. Right now, the IOC is failing to live up it to its own principles and its own mandate. If the Executive Board does not act by moving the 2022 Games to a country that actually respects human rights, then history will place the 2022 Beijing Games next to the 1936 Berlin Games as a platform to congratulate murderous dictators.

Why Joe Biden Should Boycott China’s 2022 Winter Olympics

National Interest

Beijing needs to empty its camps in Xinjiang, or America will work to empty its stadiums.

Beijing will host the next Winter Olympics in February 2022. If, as observed by academics and the international press, the 2008 Summer Olympics was China’s “coming out party,” the 2022 Winter Olympics will serve as a “coming of age party.” In one of his first acts as commander-in-chief, President Joe Biden should spoil the celebration by threatening to refuse the invite on behalf of America while simultaneously persuading other like-minded friends to do the same.

In explaining the decision, President Biden should not politely decline; instead, he should make America’s reasons clear: the mass detention of Uyghurs, and other Muslims, to include ethnic Kazaks and Uzbeks, in concentration camps and the systematic cultural destruction that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is carrying out in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The scale of social and ethnic eradication is numbing. While the number of detentions is unknown, estimates range from one to three million Muslims. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute estimates “approximately 16,000 mosques in Xinjiang (65% of the total) have been destroyed or damaged as a result of government policies…a further 30% of important Islamic sacred sites have been demolished…and an additional 28% have been damaged or altered in some way.” In the face of such brazen state-sponsored cultural destruction, America should not legitimize an event meant to crown personal achievement while Beijing persecutes millions for their faith and ethnicity.

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China: Repression Threatens Winter Olympics

By Eurasia Review
The Chinese government’s heightened repression from Xinjiang to Hong Kong threatens its hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. The Beijing Winter Olympics are scheduled to begin on February 4, 2022.

Human Rights Watch detailed extensive concerns about the human rights climate for hosting the games in China. These include the lack of media and internet freedom, the incarceration of more than a million Turkic Muslims in “political education” camps in Xinjiang, the lack of transparency in labor supply chains, and increasing free speech restrictions in Hong Kong. The IOC should immediately conduct robust human rights due diligence around the preparations for the 2022 Beijing Olympics and explain its efforts to manage human rights risks connected to the Games by February 2021, one year ahead of the games.

“The Chinese government’s intensifying crackdown undermines the basic rights that are essential to hosting the Olympics,” said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch. “By the start of the one-year clock in February, the IOC needs to explain how human rights protections will be met.”

Earlier in December 2020, the International Olympic Committee published its expert report “Recommendations for an IOC Human Rights Strategy,” an important roadmap for adopting human rights across its operations. Human Rights Watch recommended that the IOC should immediately conduct and publish thorough human rights due diligence around the preparations for the 2022 Beijing Olympics and explain how it plans to address the human rights risks connected to the Games by February 2021, one year ahead of the games. Such action would be consistent with the steps set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the “Guiding Principles”), and with the IOC’s ongoing work to build a strategic framework on human rights.

Human Rights Watch has extensively documented serious human rights abuses in China, and that the human rights environment has deteriorated significantly since the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

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