DHARAMSALA, 23 June: Over 10 Tibetan NGOs and Indian Tibet support groups have urged the Indian Olympic Association(IOC) to re-evaluate its participation in the Beijing 2022 Winter Games over urgent geopolitical and human rights concerns
“We are writing to you to raise the numerous and severe human rights concerns surrounding the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, and to urge that the Indian Olympic Association re-evaluate its participation in the Games, particularly in light of China’s encroachment on the Indian border with Tibet that threatens the country’s security,” read the joint letter collectively penned by Tibetan NGOs and Indian Tibet support groups to the IOC President Dr Narinder Batra.
Citing the “urgent geopolitical and human rights concerns related to China hosting the Beijing 2022 Olympics,” coupled with the “International Olympic Committee’s refusal to act – despite the overwhelming evidence – it falls to National Olympic Associations to take a meaningful and robust stance,” the coalition said and urged for India to boycott the games.
“The most impactful and bravest course of action would be a boycott of the 2022 Winter Games, accompanied by a public statement that the Indian Olympic Association cannot genuinely uphold the Olympic Charter in good faith while sending a team to the Games,” the letter read.
The group stated that “since the last Beijing Olympics in 2008 the situation in Tibet has deteriorated exponentially and in January 2021 Tibet was ranked as the worst place in the world for freedom and rights.”
It further highlighted how the Rights experts have analysed that torture in Tibet is endemic with Tibetans denied basic human rights, the disturbing figures of deaths in Chinese custody and due to health complications sustained while in prisons and how the UN Human Rights Experts have labelled China’s repression of Tibetans and Ughyurs of ‘grave concern’ and that the governments and parliaments alike across has called out China for the genocide.
“The 2022 Winter Games run a serious risk of legitimising these abuses,” the group said and requested an opportunity to meet with the IOC to discuss their serious concerns and to brief the committee on the situation facing Tibetans and Uyghurs, and discuss a course of action.
The coalition has also asked for the IOC to adequately inform its athletes of China’s severe human rights records.
Parallel protests were also reported in at least 50 towns and cities across the world as a coalition of Tibetan, Uyghur, Hongkonger, Southern Mongolian, Taiwanese, and Chinese rights groups and supporters marked International Olympic Day, June 23 as the Global Day of Action calling for a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
International Olympic Day is celebrated on 23 June across the world to initially promote Olympic values and in order to celebrate the establishment of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The first Olympic Day was celebrated on 23 June in 1948 by countries including Venezuela, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Great Britain, and Uruguay.