There has not been any sign that the 2022 Beijing Olympics might be canceled despite calls from human rights groups to boycott it. However, should the games go ahead, the World Uyghur Congress said the event would lead to a worse situation for the targets of persecution in the country.
“Enabling China to host the Olympics and to use it as a promotional event without addressing its human rights crises sends a signal to China that the international community will not hold it accountable,” Koen Stoop, the E.U. policy director for the World Uyghur Congress, told Breibart.
“This will only encourage the Chinese regime to continue its crimes against Uyghurs and others,” Stoop stressed.
The Uyghurs are a primarily Muslim ethnic group in China’s northwest. They have fallen into the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) indoctrination program, which places them in concentration camps.
Survivors of these facilities said they “suffered from extreme torture, forced sterilizations and abortions, routine gang rape and rape with electric devices, slavery, and medical examinations that suggest live organ harvesting,” Breibart noted.
Despite Western pressure from U.S. Presidents Biden and Former President Trump, the CCP has denied the allegations. Nevertheless, as Stoop reminded, the Olympic event would be the perfect cover for the CCP to give its image a new coat of paint.
“The Chinese government [regime] will undoubtedly make use of this occasion to promote itself to the rest of the world, presenting a China as a state that, contrary to reality, is not one of the worst human rights violators of this century,” the director said.
Stoop stressed the ongoing human rights abuse in China must not be forgotten, and people should continue to spread the reality to others.
According to the outlet, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had been advised to be aware of the CCP using Uyghur slave labor to produce items and uniforms for the event.
Slavery has been identified as one of the most widespread human rights violations committed by China against the Uyghur people. Reportedly, Chinese firms can acquire Uyghur slaves from the regime through mobile phone applications.
Meanwhile, despite calls from the World Uyghur Congress and multiple officials in the U.S., American sponsors of the games had not backed away from it, including Airbnb, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Visa, and Intel.
During a congressional hearing in July, only Intel said it believed, along with the United States, that the CCP was conducting brutal genocide against the Uyghurs. Others sidestepped the criticisms against the abuse issue and said they were not responsible for selecting the host country.
Despite their arguments, Stoop felt “sponsors of the Olympics also have a shared responsibility to not lend their support to China’s human rights abuses by sponsoring the Games.”
According to Breitbart, State Department spokesman Ned Price in April said the Biden administration was gauging a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. Still, Secretary of State Antony Blinken later said such debate was “premature” at the time.
In a February letter joined by over 150 human rights organizations, a universal boycott was vital in showing a stance against China’s barbaric practice.
“Anything less [than a full boycott] will be seen as an endorsement of the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian rule and blatant disregard for civil and human rights,” they said in the letter.
Head of the Free Indo-Pacific Alliance, Hidetoshi Ishii, who was among those that signed the letter, said countries that are renowned for their endorsement of freedom have a strong responsibility in voicing against “the totalitarian world.”
“If America shows weakness towards totalitarian and autocratic countries, then freedom will be lost from this world,” Ishii told the outlet. “We need [a] strong America that’s holding the principle of freedom highly.”