Sunday, October 24

The repression in China threatens the celebration of the Winter Olympics

File photo of Chinese officials discussing the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.

File photo of Chinese officials discussing the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.

The organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) sent a letter to the president of the International Olympic Committee (WATCH), Thomas Bach, in which he has warned him that “Increased repression by the Chinese government from Xinjiang to Hong Kong” threatens its ability to host the Winter Olympics in February 2022.

The weather of Human rights in the country is a matter of concern for the holding of the games in China, as the organization has detailed in a statement, which has pointed out the lack of freedom of the media and the Internet, the imprisonment of more than one million Muslims in fields of “political education” and the lack of transparency.

He has also pointed to the situation in Hong Kong and the increase in restrictions on freedom of expression.

Faced with these violations and repression, “the IOC must immediately carry out a solid diligence in matters of Human Rights on the preparations for the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games and explain its efforts to manage the Human Rights risks related to the Games before February 2021. ”

HRW has pointed out the “considerable” deterioration that the Asian country has had in terms of Human Rights since the celebration of the Beijing Olympic Games, in 2008, although already at that time violations such as forced evictions and the silencing of activists of the civil society.

No one managed to obtain a permit to protest in the areas that the government agreed to establish for the games, and at least one person who tried, Ji Sizun, was jailed for trying to get a permit.

However, the government of President Xi Jinping “has significantly tightened social controls and the supremacy of the Chinese Communist Party,” placing greater restrictions on religion, civil society, the Internet, the media, and universities.

In addition, he has prosecuted numerous activists and journalists on unfounded charges, persecuted Turkish Muslims in Xinjiang and other ethnic minorities, and drastically dismantled freedoms in Hong Kong.

The organization has also denounced that the Chinese authorities used the 2008 games to justify a major expansion of the national security apparatus and the investment and promotion of surveillance technologies such as facial recognition, which “allowed further repression over the next decade” .

At the time, “the IOC was silent,” said HRW China Director Sophie Richardson, saying that the adoption of new standards requires significant action and difficult decisions, or else it is just an insult to all those suffering from Beijing’s massive rights violations“, referring to the publication at the beginning of the year of an IOC decalogue on Human Rights.

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