Congressional leaders called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics – if they are held as scheduled in Beijing – due to the ongoing “genocide” against Uyghurs in China.
“In granting Beijing host status for the Olympic Games, we are crowning a barbarous regime with laurels while we should be condemning their abuse and genocide,” stated Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, at a hearing of the commission on Tuesday.
He cited the “genocide” in the region of Xinjiang. According to reports, as many as 1.8 million Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities have been detained in a network of camps, where survivors or relatives of prisoners have reported indoctrination, beatings, torture, forced sterilizations, and other abuses.
Regional authorities have set up a system of mass surveillance and predictive policing outside the camps, in a situation one State Department official last week compared to an “open-air prison.” The largely-Muslim Uyghur population has been subject to repression of religious practices, and children have been separated from their parents and indoctrinated at schools. Forced sterilization, contraception, and abortion on Uyghur women has effected a steep decline in the region’s birth rates.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the treatment of the Uyghurs and other minorities amounted to genocide, and current Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed that assessment.
Smith urged the International Olympic Committee to “find a new host city” for the Olympic games.
“In light of what is now known—and in solidarity with the oppressed and not the oppressor, in solidarity with the victims and not the victimizer—I urge the IOC and all interested parties, including the United States, to find a new host city—or boycott,” Smith said of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
“To our big corporations, don’t enable or sponsor the ‘Genocide Olympics’,” he added.
Smith spoke at a Tuesday hearing of the commission on “China, Genocide, and the Olympics.”
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