Human rights activists call for boycott of 2022 Olympics in Beijing due to human rights abuses
Official China rejects criticism as interference in its internal affairs and politicization of sports
The games are to open in one year, on Feb. 4, 2022, and are set to go forward despite the pandemic.
The coalition is composed of groups representing Tibetans, Uighurs, Inner Mongolians, residents of Hong Kong and others.
The group has issued an open letter to governments calling for a boycott of the Olympics “to ensure they are not used to embolden the Chinese government’s appalling rights abuses and crackdowns on dissent.”
Rights groups have previously asked the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee to move the games from China. The IOC has largely ignored the demands and says it’s only a sporting body that does not get involved with politics.
The groups said because of the IOC’s inaction “it now falls on governments to take a stand and demonstrate that they have the political will to push back against China’s reprehensible human rights abuses.”
Beijing hosted the 2008 Olympics, which it promised would improve human rights in the country. Instead, the groups say the prestige of the Olympics has led to “a gross increase on the assault on communities living under its rule.”
China has brushed off the criticisms as interference in its internal affairs and politicization of sports. It has reacted strongly to charges of genocide. One Chinese official called it the “lie of the century.”