Human Rights Organizations Call for Boycott of Winter Olympics in China

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A coalition of 180 human rights organizations representing China’s ethnic minorities – Tibetans, Muslim Uyghurs, Mongols and Hong Kong residents – have released an open letter to governments around the world calling for a boycott of the Winter Olympics, which are scheduled to take place in Beijing next year.

Failure to participate in the games “will prevent the Chinese authorities from portraying them as encouraging abhorrent human rights abuses and suppressing dissent.” Coalition members and other human rights organizations have “repeatedly reported these human rights violations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over two decades, but it refused to heed their arguments in 2008, when the Summer Olympics were held in Beijing.”

In its statement, the IOC referred to its position based on “neutrality towards all global political issues”, although it may not agree “with the political structure, social atmosphere or human rights standards in a particular country.” The IOC also mentioned two previous political boycotts – the Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980 and in Los Angeles in 1984 – which “did not produce any result, but only harmed the athletes.”

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 0 dated November 30 -0001

Newspaper headline:
Boycott again