The Olympic Games are an opportunity for people across the world to unite in a shared celebration of sport, friendship and solidarity – a celebration which should transcend national and political divides.
We, the Co-Chairs of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, are of the shared belief that this cannot be reconciled with holding the Games in a country whose government stands credibly accused of perpetrating atrocity crimes against its own population. To do so discredits the ethos of the Olympic movement and undermines its purpose.
While it is right that the International Olympic Committee should stay above politics, this cannot permit us to turn a blind eye to industrial-scale human rights abuses. Our concerns relating to the situation of the Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in China must not be brushed off as mere political concerns. These are questions of fundamental human rights which form the basis for international cooperation upon which the Olympic Games depends.
In light of this, we call on our respective political leaders and national representatives to decline invitations to attend the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Failure to do so risks legitimising the Chinese government’s repressive policies.
We also urge commercial sponsors of the Games to consider withdrawing their support for the games, and call on the International Olympics Committee to guarantee the freedom of expression for the media and athletes during the Games.
Only by standing in solidarity with the Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers and other victims of persecution will we remain true to the Olympic Values.