Letter to national politicians

Dear [insert name of MP/Senator and honourifics]

RE: call to boycott 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

We, a coalition of over 180 global campaign groups, jointly call on a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games to ensure they are not used to embolden the Chinese government’s appalling rights abuses and crackdowns on dissent.

At the end of July 2015, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selected Beijing as the host city for the 2022 Winter Games. Since then—and despite claims by the IOC and Beijing Olympic Committee that the Games will serve as a catalyst for progress—President Xi Jinping has unleashed an unrelenting crackdown on basic freedom and human rights. 

The Chinese government has intensified its crackdown on cultural and ideological differences. The situation in occupied Tibet has dramatically deteriorated and has been transformed into a surveillance state with over 1,000 political prisoners facing torture and even death; [1] in East Turkistan (Ch: Xinjiang) between 1.8 and three million Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples are arbitrarily detained in “re-education camps,” enduring inhuman treatment and political indoctrination; [2] in Hong Kong, the city’s vibrant community of human rights activists and outspoken youths have been rounded up by the thousands for simply advocating for democracy; [3] in Southern Mongolia, children are being deprived of their right to speak their mother tongue; [4] Han Chinese who appear to differ ideologically from the communist government, such as activists Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia, and the Hong Kong Causeway Bay bookstore owners, are also prosecuted for being seen as a threat to the communist party; China’s reach extends to extreme intimidation and geopolitical bullying of Taiwan and aggression and expansion across borders in the South China Sea and India-Tibet border, which present a clear threat to regional and global security. 

For two decades, our coalition, members of frontline communities, and numerous human rights groups have repeatedly sought to inform the IOC about these conditions, explain the dangers of awarding China the Olympic Games, and caution against accepting any human rights assurances from one of the world’s worst human rights violators. 

The IOC refused to listen in 2008, defending its decision with claims that they would prove to be a catalyst for improved human rights in the country. Unfortunately, as human rights experts predicted, this decision proved to be gravely misplaced; not only did China’s human rights record not improved but violations increased substantially without rebuke.

Now, in 2021, we find ourselves back in the same position with the IOC who are refusing to act despite the clear evidence of genocide and widespread and worsening human rights failures in China under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party.

It now falls on governments, political leaders, members of parliament and senators, to take a stand and demonstrate that they have the political will to push back against China’s reprehensible human rights abuses. Earlier in July 2021, the European Parliament took the first step and overwhelmingly passed a resolution, calling for diplomatic boycott against the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics within its member nations, as a result of ongoing human rights violations and abuses committed by the Chinese government and the recent escalation in oppression of freedoms in Hong Kong. [6]

Your voice and stance on this matter is paramount to send a clear and strong message to Beijing that their cruel violations are no longer tolerated. We therefore call on you to support the campaign to boycott the Beijing 2022 Games. Anything less will be seen as an endorsement of the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian rule and blatant disregard for civil and human rights. 

Yours sincerely,

 

NOTES:

  1. Freedom House, Freedom in the World — Country Report, https://freedomhouse.org/countries/freedom-world/scores?sort=asc&order=Total%20Score%20and%20Status
  2. https://xjdp.aspi.org.au/explainers/uyghurs-for-sale/
  3. Committee to Protect Journalists:   https://cpj.org/data/imprisoned/2019/?status=Imprisoned&start_year=2019&end_year=2019&group_by=location   
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/01/inner-mongolia-protests-china-mandarin-schools-language
  5. https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/22/china-repression-threatens-winter-olympics
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/09/eu-votes-diplomats-boycott-china-winter-olympics-human-rights-abuses 
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