US lawmaker urges International Olympic Committee to move 2022 games out of China

Lalit K Jha
·3-min read

Washington, Mar 24 (PTI) A powerful Republican lawmaker on Wednesday urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to move the 2022 Winter Olympic Games out of Beijing, saying China should not be given a platform to whitewash its crimes as it is committing a genocide against the Uyghur minorities and stripping civil liberties from the people of Hong Kong.

Senator Rick Scott, in a letter to the Switzerland-headquartered sports authority, said that since 2019, he has been calling on the IOC to stand up for freedom and move the games out of China, and take them to a country that respects human rights.

“So far, these calls have been ignored,” he said.

Alleging that the crimes committed by Chinese President Xi Jinping are horrific, Scott said the international community cannot give a nation that is so overtly abusing human rights a platform to whitewash its crimes by hosting the Olympic Games.

“Communist China is taking similar actions in Tibet, coercing hundreds of thousands of Tibetan people into mass labour camps,” he said.

Beijing is slated to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

“As a sponsor of the IOC, you are uniquely positioned to join in this fight and demand the IOC stand for human rights and remove the games from Communist China, or lose your sponsorship and support.

“Therefore, I am asking you (sponsors) to stand for human rights and freedom and use your considerable leverage as a sponsor of the 2022 Olympic Games to publicly urge the IOC to move the games to a nation that values human dignity and freedom,” he said.

“If the IOC continues to refuse, and you continue to serve as a sponsor, you will be signalling your support for a regime that is committing genocide. This is an incredibly important fight and I look forward to you standing with all those around the globe fighting for freedom and against murderous regimes,” Scott said.

Scott alleged that under the leadership of Chinese President Xi, “Communist China is committing a genocide against the Uyghurs”.

In Xinjiang, China has established hundreds of concentration camps to imprison, torture and enslave Uyghurs.

“The United States Government, joined by the Canadian and Dutch parliaments, have declared the Communist Chinese government guilty of genocide,” Scott said.

New reports have shown unspeakable crimes, along with forced abortion and forced sterilisation, have been committed against women, he said.

Children are separated from their parents and pressured to renounce their Uyghur heritage, he said, adding that video footage has shown blindfolded Uyghurs being loaded onto trains and transported to the concentration camps.

Scott alleged that China has also stripped away the civil liberties of Hong Kongers, leading to more than five million people losing their rights to due process, free speech and free assembly.

“This month, Communist China effectively ended the “one country, two systems” framework by changing Hong Kong’s election laws to ensure that no elected officials will criticise the Chinese Communist Party.

“And because of the National Security Law they enforced on Hong Kong last year, 47 pro-democracy activists are on trial, not for committing any crime, but for expressing their civil liberties through peaceful assembly,” he added. PTI LKJ CPS