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AP: World #2 – Olympic committee ignores China’s human rights abuses, insists its mission is “to create a better world”

Attendees wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus look at an exhibit at a visitors center at the Winter Olympic venues in Yanqing, on the outskirts of Beijing, Feb. 5, 2021.

(by Graham Dunbar, Associated Press) GENEVA — Activists protesting the 2022 Beijing Olympics hoped China’s record on human rights would get on the agenda this week at a major IOC (International Olympic Committee) gathering.

The International Olympic Committee was just as determined not to speak publicly of the “No Beijing 2022” campaign’s concerns.

Words like Uyghur detention camps, Tibet, and Hong Kong, and certainly not genocide, were unspoken by Olympic officials across three days of debate broadcast online, and three news conferences that wrapped on Friday.

Instead, the IOC praised Beijing’s Winter Games preparations and announced a vaccine diplomacy deal with China to help inoculate athletes worldwide.


Bitter Winter: Stopping Beijing 2022 Olympic Games: It Is Not Impossible


What looked like a Quixotic movement doomed to failure is now gaining momentum internationally.

Beijing National Stadium, where China hopes to inaugurate the 2022 Winter Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games should be moved away from China, if the Chinese regime does not prove that it has taken serious steps to improve its abysmal human rights record. This is the call insistently heard from important groups and individuals worried by the state of religious freedom and human rights in the land of Red Dragon.

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC), one of the major organizations of the Uyghur diaspora, based in Munich, Germany, has taken the lead in this field. Last month, WUC formally addressed to Mr. Ban Ki Moon, formerly Secretary General of the United Nations and from mid-September 2017 Chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Ethics Commission, a letter “raising its grievance in relation to the failure of the Ethics Office to follow the Rules of Procedure Governing Cases of Possible Breach of Ethical Principles” in the case of China.

In fact, WUC states, “IOC, its Executive Board, and IOC President Thomas Bach have acted in breach of the Olympic Charter by failing to reconsider holding the 2022 Olympics in Beijing following verifiable evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity taking place”.

The case in point is of course the Chinese genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities, most of whom are Muslim, in Xinjiang, the region its Turkic inhabitants call East Turkestan.


Reuters: Uighurs take case against Beijing Games to IOC ethics chief Ban Ki-moon


GENEVA (Reuters) – The largest group of exiled ethnic Uighurs have asked the chair of the IOC’s ethics commission to personally review its call for the 2022 Winter Games not to be held in Beijing amid evidence of what it calls crimes against humanity.

Activists and U.N. experts say 1 million Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims are held in Chinese camps in Xinjiang. China denies abuses and says its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism in the remote western region.

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) said its public complaint on the issue last August had not been given a fair hearing by the International Olympics Committee.

In a statement seen by Reuters on its Feb. 26 letter to ethics chief Ban Ki-moon, the WUC repeated that the IOC had “acted in breach of the Olympic Charter by failing to reconsider holding the 2022 Olympics in Beijing following verifiable evidence of genocide and crimes and humanity taking place”.


The Guardian: Uighur campaigners to target 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics sponsors

Campaigners fighting against the persecution of Uighur Muslims in China are to target private companies sponsoring the Beijing Winter Olympics in an attempt to persuade them to use their influence with the Chinese government ahead of the 2022 event.

Uighur campaigners in 10 different countries are coming together to write to companies asking them to use their platforms to educate and inform the world of the persecution under way in Xinjiang province. The first to be targeted is the chief executive officer of Airbnb, Brian Chesky.

Calling the Winter Olympics the “Genocide Games”, the campaign group would ideally like for Airbnb to withdraw its sponsorship, but will probably graduate their demands.

The San Francisco-based Airbnb secured a £500m sponsorship of the Olympics starting with the Beijing Games.

The digital campaign will include concurrent pictures of the typical accommodation available to Airbnb customers and that available to persecuted Uighurs held in detention camps.

The aim of the campaign is to persuade the huge multinationals that they will pay a commercial price if they do not use their immense soft power to persuade China to rethink its stance.

In its letter, the group broadly entitled End the Uighur Genocide Movement asks Chesky and his executive team to meet the campaigners virtually – including some of the people that have been forced to work in Chinese concentration camps and those whose loved ones have disappeared.

The group acknowledges that Chesky’s corporate aim is to bring the world closer together, adding he has built his company around the theme of “belonging”. The authors of the letter say: “We are exiles from our country, unable to go home, unable to contact our loved ones.”

They add: “All over the world, campaigners, politicians and celebrities are waking up to the horror of what is going on. There is now a real risk that that Airbnb’s brand will be stained by your association with the Genocide Games.”

Rahima Mahmut, director of the World Uighur Congress, said Airbnb could either pull out of the games or use their involvement to speak out “clearly and unambiguously” against the attacks on the Uighurs and other Muslims. She added that staying silent on this issue was not possible for Airbnb.

The campaign is being launched in America, the UK, Canada, Norway, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Australia.

Other major multinational sponsoring companies for the Beijing Olympics include Allianz, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Intel, Visa International, Omega, Atos and Panasonic.

Airbnb is facing the campaigner’s attention early partly because of the firm’s emphasis on corporate social responsibility. Chesky has also shown a huge personal philanthropic commitment, signing Bill Gates’s pledges to give the majority of his wealth away to charitable causes either during his lifetime or afterwards.

Airbnb has been contacted for comment.

Is a 2022 Olympic boycott over China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims a possibility?

I’m a big track fan, which is why one of my all-time favorite sports memories is watching from a nose-bleed seat at the Los Angeles Coliseum as Britain’s Sebastian Coe won the 1984 men’s 1,500-meter Olympic finals. But I also recall my excitement being dampened just a tad by knowing that Coe’s win was diminished by the absence that day of world-class Soviet bloc runners.

You’ll remember that President Jimmy Carter had pulled the United States out of the 1980 Moscow Olympics to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (sadly, almost 40 years later Afghanistan remains an open-ended U.S. foreign policy concern). More than 60 other nations joined the U.S.-led boycott.

As payback, the USSR pulled its athletes out of the following Summer Olympics, the Los Angeles games. More than a dozen other communist nations joined that boycott, hence the absence of many quality athletes and, in my mind, the need for an asterisk next to Coe’ name. (Ironically, Coe also won the 1,500 meters in 1980, which probably warrants a second asterisk.)

Jump forward to the present, which finds the U.S. and Russia, the rotting core of the old USSR, still at odds. But unlike the 1980s, China — then just a hint of the economic powerhouse it would become — is arguably as bad an actor today and at least equally as problematic for the U.S.

Guess what? The 2022 Winter Olympics is scheduled for China.

Given how horribly Beijing has persecuted its Muslim Uighur minority (plus the Tibetan Buddhists, underground Christian churches, and others, including ordinary citizens who disagree to any degree with the government’s heavy-handed policies), might another boycott of Olympic proportions be due?


No Rights – No Games – Petition

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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.