Olympics? Too good for Beijing!
Open appeal to the German Olympic Team Beijing 2022: Boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics!
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
in four weeks’ time, the 24th Winter Olympics will take place in Beijing.
With its decision to host the Winter Games in Beijing, the International Olympic Committee has assumed the duty and responsibility to realise the ethical principles of the Olympic Charter, such as human dignity and the creation of a peace-loving society in the host country. The IOC has not even begun to fulfil this task. Oppression and the most serious human rights crimes, such as those currently taking place in the People’s Republic of China, are in no way compatible with the Olympic Charter. Beijing should never have been awarded the contract to host the 2022 Olympic Games and no Games would certainly have been better than abusing athletes, state guests and spectators for the propaganda purposes of a communist dictatorship.
The Chinese communist regime has claimed the lives of more than 65 million people since it came to power – historians even speak of 80 million murdered and starved to death. However, anyone who believes that China’s economic opening has also improved the human rights situation will be disabused of this notion. Fundamental rights such as freedom of belief and assembly, freedom of opinion and freedom of the press, which we take for granted, are trampled underfoot in the People’s Republic.
The situation of Tibetans must still be described as disastrous, Uyghurs in Xinjiang province are deported to concentration camps by the thousands and thousands. The system of forced labour as a tool of oppression still exists. Democrats, human rights lawyers, civil rights activists, opposition activists, journalists critical of the regime, members of Christian churches as well as the originally state-sponsored meditation practice Falun Gong continue to be subjected to state persecution. The use of torture and the excessive application of the death penalty have been part of Chinese justice for years. No state in the world has intervened so vehemently in the birth control of its own people in recent decades, and has had approximately 400 million forced sterilisations and forced abortions performed, often while still in the eighth month. The list of crimes committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is endless. Please also consider the increasing threat to Taiwan and the quasi-annexation of Hong Kong, which is a breach of treaty under international law. Beijing must also be held responsible for the damage caused by the global Corona disaster. The CCP could have prevented this pandemic if it had reacted promptly and appropriately. Instead, it deceived its own people as well as the international community, even at the risk of countless people becoming infected and dying from COVID-19. For example, all domestic air and rail traffic to and from Wuhan was blocked, while foreign flights paradoxically continued.
Just a few weeks ago, a London tribunal chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice charged the PRC with genocide against the Uyghur people. Nice was former chief prosecutor against former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević at the Hague War Crimes Tribunal. This tribunal has already accused the PRC of systematic organ harvest from living Falun Gong practitioners in 2019.
Despite international criticism, state and party leader Xi Jinping has been pursuing an uncompromising policy of power and oppression against his own people and against the rest of the world since the beginning of his term in office. If economic and military development in China continues in this way, Mao’s 100-year plan will come true – China’s communists will be world power No. 1. The consequences for humanity should be clear – oppression and enslavement in the name of an ideology that is in stark contradiction to human nature.
Today we are faced with the question: How can it be possible that the biggest human rights violator is once again allowed to host the Olympic Games? Is Beijing not still being rewarded for its human rights crimes? For China, it is about prestige, power and global recognition.
The CCP is once again using the Olympic Games as an instrument for national and international propaganda and is once again tainting the Olympic idea with blood and shame – a parallel to Hitler’s propaganda games of 1936 is obvious.
“Never again!” was once said in Germany, and yet German athletes will be competing for Olympic gold in Beijing, while human rights crimes are being committed just a few streets away from the competition venues.
A memorable sentence by Heinrich Mann, uttered at the conference in defence of the Olympic idea in Paris in June 1936, fits this:
“A regime based on forced labour and mass enslavement; a regime that prepares for war and exists only through lying propaganda, how can such a regime respect peaceful sport and free sportsmen? Believe me, those of the international athletes who go to Berlin will be nothing more there than gladiators, prisoners and jokers of a dictator who already feels himself master of this world.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Human rights activists and numerous athletes agree that the Olympic Games and human rights crimes must not exist together under any circumstances. From today’s perspective, no athlete would have participated in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
Whatever you decide as an athlete whether or not to participate in the Beijing Games – it is your own decision. You must reconcile this with your own conscience. No coach, no official and no sports federation can take this decision away from you.
We as a human rights organisation can only appeal to you: Do not go to Beijing, set a sign against oppression, dictatorship and enslavement by staying away! Ultimately, it is a question of dignity and courage not to remain silent about such human rights crimes.
With kind regards
China Working Committee (ISHR)