Tibetan activists are urging countries to boycott the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing over China’s alleged human rights abuse record.
A call for boycott: On Saturday, the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe (TYAE) and Students for a Free Tibet participated in a peaceful protest outside the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, reported Reuters.
- The groups have accused China of using the upcoming Olympic Games, which the groups have dubbed as “Genocide Games,” to paint itself in a positive light.
- “Despite mounting international criticism of the IOC and China, the Chinese regime’s human rights abuses in Tibet, East Turkestan, and Hong Kong continue unabated,” activist Tenzing Dhokhar, who serves as campaigns director of TYAE, was quoted as saying. “By collaborating with China, the IOC is making itself an accomplice of the Chinese Communist Party’s crimes, which will be sports-washed by the Beijing Olympics.”
- As part of the protest, two Tibetan students chained themselves to the Olympic logo in front of the IOC building.
- Other protesters placed a banner that said “No Beijing 2022” near the entrance of the building where officials were having a meeting. Five activists entered and held a sit-in protest inside the IOC building.
- After three hours, local authorities forced protesters to disperse, which the IOC claims led to the injury of a security guard.
- In a statement, according to Reuters, the IOC said: “The IOC always listens to all concerns that are directly related to the Olympic Games. We have engaged multiple times with peaceful protesters and explained our position, but we will not engage with violent protesters who used force to enter the IOC building and injured a security guard by doing so.”
Liberation or invasion?: While China has called its occupation of Tibet in 1950 the “Peaceful Liberation of Tibet,” the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan Government-in-Exile) and the Tibetan diaspora have dubbed it the “Chinese invasion of Tibet.”
- The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, has called the Chinese rule a “cultural genocide.”
- A recent report published by the Tibet Action Institute accused China of indoctrinating 800,000 young Tibetans in boarding schools (78% of Tibetan students between the ages of 6 and 18) that are allegedly aimed at influencing them toward communism and away from Buddhist culture.
- China has similarly been accused of detaining Uyghurs and other primarily Muslim minorities in indoctrination camps in Xinjiang.
Featured Image via VOA Tibetan