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2022 Beijing Winter Olympic ‘#Genocide Games’

Posted on Thursday, June 10th, 2021
2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

After the Holocaust, the U.N. General Assembly, meeting in Paris on Dec. 9, 1948, approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, outlining genocide as a crime under international law, whether in peace or war, to be prevented and punished. The promise was “never again.” But it is happening again in China, a signatory to the treaty, as part of China’s crackdown since 2016 on ethnic Uyghurs and other minorities in the Xinjiang region. China has since been chosen by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

To-date, the International Olympic Committee has still not made public any assurances that led to its decision to award China the Games in 2022. Furthermore, in September 2019 the International Olympic gave a uniform contract for both the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Games to a Chinese company that uses cotton from Xinjiang and openly advertises its use of Xinjiang cotton.

In 1935, a year before Germany was due to host the 1936 Olympics, the UK Government refused to back an appeal by British athletes to Adolf Hitler to mark the Games by freeing imprisoned Jewish athletes and other incarcerated ‘for racial or religious reasons’. The Nazi regime attempted to use the 1936 Games for propaganda purpose, including white racial superiority and the persecution of Jews.

The similarities between the 1936 Olympics and the 2022 Olympic Games continue. In 1931, when Germany was awarded the Olympics, it was a republic. But when the Nazis seized power and began interning Jews two years later, the International Olympic Committee refused to openly criticize the treatment of the Jews  for fear of irritating its host, Germany[2]. And the same is happening with the International Olympic Committee’s reluctance to criticize China for its actions and relaying on promises that the principles of the Olympic Charter will be respected in the context of the 2022 Games. 

The Beijing Winter Olympic games are due to take place between 4th-20th February 2022. The  Chinese government views these games as an important moment to project soft power to the world – but the world cannot ignore the fact that these games are taking place in a country where  there is growing evidence of a genocide against Uyghurs and other minorities. The Chinese government must not be allowed to use these games to whitewash its attempt to destroy a people.

We are therefore joining the Stop Uyghur Genocide, the Jewish News and other organisations in a campaign aimed at the 2022 Beijing winter Olympic Games to be known as the ‘Genocide Games’.

Objectives

  1. 2022 Beijing Olympic sponsors uphold human rights standards and drop their sponsorship and endorsements
  2. The UK government, Team GB, sports clubs, and athletes, speak out against the persecution  of Uyghurs and other ethnic groups by the Chinese Government
  3. Convene Jewish athletes, spokespeople, and organisations to collectively speak out against atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party against the Uyghur people.

We will add our support to the Stop Uyghur Genocide’s Winter 2022 Olympic campaign and seek to taint the brand of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, and of its related sponsors as the ‘genocide games’ by linking the games to crimes taking place against Uyghurs. We will target a small number of primary targets and demand a reaction from them, including Olympic Games sponsors – such as Airbnb, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Toyota, Visa, Panasonic, Huawei, P&G, Intel and Bridgestone – and  Olympic organisations, to press them to acknowledge what is happening to the Uyghur  people.

Suggested Actions

Write to Airbnb’s Chief Executive. Mr Chesky – one of games’ sponsor companies – for the company to use its voice to speak up for Uyghurs

Use the same letter wording (amend accordingly) to write to the other chief executives including: 1. Mr James Quincey, Chief Executive Coca Cola (jquincey@coca-cola.com) 2. Mr. Agustin Marin, Managing Director Toyota UK (agustin.martin@tgb.toyota.co.uk) 3. Mr. Alfred F. Kelly Junior, Chief Executive Visa (alfredk@visa.com) 4. Mr. David S. Taylor, Chief Executive P&G (taylor.ds@pg.com)



[1]  British Olympic records set in digital archive | National Archives | The Guardian

[2] Boycott questions over Beijing Winter Olympics raise eerie echoes of 1936 | Winter Olympics | The Guardian