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A coalition made up of Uyghur Muslims, Hong Kong citizens and other groups released a statement calling for a full-blown boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, citing the ongoing human rights abuses of minorities in China.
As USA Today wrote, the statement acted as “a move likely to ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors and sports federations.”
While the Chinese government will do everything it can to deny and silence any allegations, these groups that stand for human rights won’t go away quietly.
“The time for talking with the IOC is over,” Lhadon Tethong of the Tibet Action Institute said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. “This cannot be games as usual or business as usual; not for the IOC and not for the international community.”
The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are scheduled to begin in early February, about six months after Tokyo’s summer games comes to an end.
Several countries are contemplating boycotting both sets of Olympic games if China is included, per multiple reports.
“The situation where we are now is demonstrably worse that it was then,” Tethong said, adding that the IOC promised the 2008 Olympics would improve human rights in China, but they clearly didn’t. “If the games go ahead, then Beijing gets the international seal of approval for what they are doing.”
A recent report from the U.S. State Department stated that “genocide and crimes against humanity” have been taking place for more than a year against Muslims and other minorities in the western region of Xinjiang.