Olympic officials dismissed Beijing’s human rights issue

Last fall, the International Olympic Committee conducted a video call with activists who demanded the removal of Beijing as the host country for the 2022 Winter Olympics. In the conference call, activists stated that the Beijing Olympics will legitimize the Chinese government’s growing human rights violations.

According to the simultaneous record seen by BuzzFeed News, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Chairman of the International Olympic Committee Coordination Committee, replied: “You, ladies and gentlemen, all have your own responsibilities.” “We have ours.”

Activists pointed out that Muslims in Xinjiang have been detained on a large scale, democracy in Hong Kong has been suppressed, and Tibet continues to be suppressed. However, IOC officials stated through explanations and interviews with several activists that they claimed that the 2008 Beijing Olympics improved air quality and public transportation, thereby solving their problems.

Dozens of human rights organizations call it the “Genocide Olympic Games” urge The International Olympic Committee moves the Olympic Games to other countries/regions, Compare The upcoming 1936 Nazi competition in Germany. we with Canada Publicly claim that China’s treatment of Xinjiang Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities is genocide.

In response to the detailed list of issues in this article, the International Olympic Committee said that it took into account the views of non-governmental organizations on issues such as human rights in the Beijing Olympics. The committee said it had raised these issues with the government and local authorities, and they assured them that they would respect the Olympic Charter.

The International Olympic Committee said in an email: “In view of the diverse participation of the Olympic Games, the IOC must remain neutral on all global political issues.” “Granting the Olympic Games to the National Olympic Committee does not mean the International Olympic Committee. Will agree with their country’s political structure, social environment or human rights standards.”

It said that the International Olympic Committee adheres to the human rights principles outlined in the Olympic Charter and “takes this responsibility very seriously.”

It also said: “The International Olympic Committee has neither the authority nor the ability to change the legal or political system of a sovereign country. The government and intergovernmental organizations should correctly maintain this role.”

The International Olympic Committee repeatedly Emphasize Responding to a neutral position regarding the ethics of hosting the Olympic Games in China. But in a private video call on October 6, 2020, IOC officials went further.

Some people who participated in the event said that the conference call lasted more than an hour and was attended by six activists and five IOC officials.

Officials believe that the Olympics may be a catalyst for improving infrastructure. They pointed to the 2008 Summer Olympics and believed that when Beijing hosted that Olympics, it stimulated the improvement of infrastructure and air quality.

An official said: “They still have air quality problems, but they first mentioned that the blue sky is called’Olympic Blue’ because…this is the first time they have seen the blue sky in Beijing.” Notes.

Teng Biao, one of China’s most famous human rights lawyers, was invited to participate. He told BuzzFeed News that he was not impressed.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Teng said: “It is too difficult to defend the Chinese government from the perspective of human rights or the rule of law.” “So they can only find things like environmental policies.”

He said: “Holding the Olympic Games in Beijing again can be seen as an endorsement of the CCP’s atrocities, including the Uyghur massacre.”

Teng lived in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics. He said: Like other human rights lawyers, He was banned from traveling, detained and tortured when he was detained by the police before the game. He said that he told officials that his experience showed that hosting the Olympic Games in Beijing again would bring harm. The police could not be reached for comment. Teng said that IOC officials seem indifferent to this.

Samaranch, chairman of the International Olympic Committee Coordinating Committee, said on the phone that the Olympics is “an extraordinary good deed”, according to people of different races and religious beliefs, “even the political system, ladies and gentlemen, and even the political system,” Comments seen by BuzzFeed News.

He added: “The world lives under many political systems.” “We can’t say one and the other.”

Zumretay Arkin, Planning and Propaganda Manager of the World Uyghur Congress, told IOC officials on a conference call that she had lost relatives in Xinjiang.. She said officials told her that they were sorry to hear the news, but the world is a complicated place-notes and responses from other activists who attended the meeting.

Arkin told BuzzFeed News that she firmly disagrees with the officials of the International Olympic Committee. She said: “Since 2008, everything has gotten worse.” “We have carried out a full-scale genocide, we have people in the concentration camp, and are you telling us that the situation has not deteriorated?”

She added: “We are suffering from these policies.” “You would never consider hosting games in North Korea or some other place. Why is China different?”

Dorjee Tseten, executive director of the Free Tibet Student Association, said he told officials that he and others risked revenge on themselves and their families to publicly protest the decision of the International Olympic Committee.He also pointed out that many monks and other Tibetans have been detained or Be killed In the government’s decades of movement.Violent demonstration Broke out in Tibet Before the 2008 Olympics, the then President of the International Olympic Committee Say protest It is the “crisis” of the organization. Seten said, but the officials in the video call didn’t seem to care.

“I was shocked,” he said. “How can I explain the indifferent face? They didn’t even admit the suffering.”

Arkin, Teng and Tseten said that since October, discussions with the International Olympic Committee have continued, including the second conference call this month, but Arkin said there are no substantive changes. American politicians And Europe, Including Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Has called on the government to boycott the Olympic Games in recent months. Critics say this may unfairly punish athletes. But activists say they will boycott diplomacy as the only option, because the IOC is unlikely to change the Olympics.

Human rights groups are also trying to put pressure on companies such as Airbnb Cut off sponsorship The 2022 Olympics.

Tseten and others who participated in the protests of the 2008 Olympics said that China’s suppression of democracy in Hong Kong and the abuses in Xinjiang have made their defenses even lower this time.

Seten said: “In the end, we told them that this will be a game of genocide.” “And in history, the International Olympic Committee will fail because of this.”

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