Groups Push for Boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing Due to Human Rights Abuses

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 17, 2021

China's Vice Premier Liu Yandong, delivers a speech during Beijing's 2022 Olympic Winter Games bid presentation at the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, July 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, Pool)
AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Multiple groups are calling for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, alleging human rights abuses by the Chinese government against minorities, according to Stephen Wade of the Associated Press.

"The time for talking with the IOC is over," Lhadon Tethong of the Tibet Action Institute said. "This cannot be games as usual or business as usual; not for the IOC and not for the international community."

The United States and several of its allies issued sanctions against Chinese officials in March for "serious human rights abuses" against Uyghur Muslims. The joint statement referred to forced labor, mass detention in internment camps and forced sterilizations among other abuses.

Uyghurs are part of a coalition that released a statement Monday calling for a boycott.

"Participating in the Beijing Olympic Games at this time would be tantamount to endorsing China's genocide against the Uyghur people, and legitimizing the increasingly repressive policies of the totalitarian Chinese regime," the statement read.

The coalition also claimed China was repressing the people of East Turkistan, Tibet and Southern Mongolia while taking part in an "all-out assault of democracy in Hong Kong."

China last hosted the Olympics in 2008, but Tethong says the abuses have expanded in the past 13 years.

"The situation where we are now is demonstrably worse that it was then," she noted.

The International Olympic Committee has said it wants to remain "neutral" on the issue, but the latest calls for a boycott could increase pressure on the organization.

The U.S. State Department recently stated it was not discussing a nationwide boycott for the 2022 Games.