Tibetan groups oppose Beijing hosting Winter Olympics, call for diplomatic boycott

Cancelling Olympics an option if Covid situation worsens

 Four Tibetan organisations based in Switzerland have filed a complaint against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the Swiss National Contact Point in Bern for alleged violation of OECD guidelines over the awarding of the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing.

The OECD guidelines obligate multinational enterprises such as the IOC to respect internationally recognised human rights and to carry out human rights due diligence for its activities, such as the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

However, the IOC has steadfastly ignored the calls of rights-based organisations for carrying out human rights due diligence despite concerns of widespread human rights violations by China, sources said. There are now growing calls for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Beijing Winter Olympics

The four Switzerland-based Tibetan organisations are the Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association, the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe, the Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and the Tibetan Women's Organisation-Switzerland.

In a press release, the complainants alleged that despite its knowledge of widespread egregious human rights violations in Tibet, East Turkestan, Hong Kong, Southern Mongolia and other territories in China, the IOC awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics to China.

Repressive policies behind self-immolations

The Tibetan bodies further noted that 155 known cases of self-immolation by Tibetans inside Tibet were actually enough drastic signs against the repressive policies of the Chinese regime.

The complainants further alleged that several of the sponsors, partners and suppliers for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are allegedly directly or indirectly linked to the forced labour or internment camps which clearly flout the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises.

Thomas Buchli, President of the Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association, the lead complainant in this case, said: "The Olympic Games represent human values that should be emulated and aspired for. However, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing represents the eradication of these same human values.

"The IOC may be excused for the mistake of awarding the 2008 Summer Olympics to China, but awarding the 2022 Winter Games to China is nothing less than a co-conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity. That is why we feel it is our duty, through this complaint, to remind the IOC of its elementary responsibility to uphold these very human values that are now being floated across the board by the award to Beijing."

The Tibet Bureau in Geneva echoed the concerns of the four Tibetan organisations over 'egregious human rights violations.

"It is of paramount importance that the International Olympic Committee carries out human rights due diligence for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to ensure that the detainees of internment camps are not abused for organising Olympics.

"The human values which the Games represent should be implemented in practice and not just remain restricted to papers," said Thinlay Chukki, special appointee for human rights, Tibet Bureau.

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