A Joint Statement Condemning the Holding of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics under the Suppression of Human Rights
With one year to go before the start of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, many people are looking forward to the day when the festival for peace and sports will successfully be held, and athletes will fairly and squarely compete with each other for the honor of their home countries or communities.Regrettably, however, the suppression of human rights, which is far from the Olympic spirit, is going on in the People’s Republic of China, where the Olympics is scheduled to be held in Beijing, the capital of the country. The Olympic Charter clearly states that the goal of the Olympic Games is to “encourage the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity” and “understand each other with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play without discrimination of any kind.”At the moment, in the People’s Republic of China, millions of Uyghurs are reportedly detained in de facto concentration camps in the name of re-education centers in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. In the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the people are deprived of an opportunity to receive education in the Mongolian language at school. In an area where Tibetans live, as well, the destruction of Buddhist temples and religious oppression continue, as once done during the Cultural Revolution. Besides, in Hong Kong, democratic activities and members of the Legislative Council have unlawfully been arrested one after another, and the “one nation, two systems” policy, which was supposed to be an international commitment, has already become a dead letter. No improvement has been made on the oppression of democratic activities and Falun Gong practitioners in China.We cannot help but regard the holding of the Winter Olympics in China, where these kinds of suppression of human rights continue, as the violation of the spirit of the Olympic Charter. In the past, the Berlin Olympics held in the capital of Germany under the Nazi regime strengthened the legitimacy of the Nazis and was used to hide its autocracy, oppression of human rights, and racial discrimination policy. Moreover, in 2001, the Chinese government made a promise that “the holding of the Olympic Games would improve the human rights situation” in the course of venue selection for the Summer Olympics and invited the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, but the government ignored the promise. On the pretext of maintaining public order, numerous people were oppressed, and the Olympics was used by the Chinese community party to enhance its national prestige under the autocratic system. The world shouldn’t forget these historical lessons.Previously, when the Moscow Olympics was held in the capital of the Soviet Union, which invaded Afghanistan, many liberal democratic countries boycotted the Olympics to express their protest against the invasion. Recalling this history, we call for the following three points on the Chinese government and the international community to save those who are oppressed by the autocratic regime as well as to protect the spirit of the Olympic Charter.１，The Chinese government, based on the spirit of the Olympic Charter, must improve the human rights situation in Tibet, Uygur, Southern Mongolia (Inner Mongolia), and Hong Kong, stop the oppression of the democratic activists and Falun Gong practitioners immediately, abolish concentration camps, release political prisoners, and guarantee the freedom of speech, expression, faith, and association.２，The Chinese government must accept the dispatch of an international investigation team for the confirmation of the improvement in the human rights situation in China as a prerequisite for the international community to work together to allow their athletes to join the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.３，The Japanese government, each government across the world, the international community, and the Olympic Committee in each country must declare that they will boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics unless the human rights situation improves for the realization of freedom, human rights, and self-determination of peoples in China and protect the Olympic spirit.
Kalden Obara, President of Tibetan Community in Japan
Kerimu Uda , President of Japan Uyghur Association
William Lee, Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, Member of Stand with HK@JPN
Chimed Jirgal, Vice President of Southern Mongolia Congress
Hidetoshi Ishii, Vice President of Free Indo-Pacific Alliance