200+ Rights Groups Call on Broadcasters to Drop Beijing 2022 Olympics

On September 7, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) joined with 200+ other human rights groups to call on the broadcasters of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games to cancel their broadcasting deals for the 2022 Olympics. These broadcasting companies are at serious risk of being complicit in China’s plan to ‘sport wash’ the severe and worsening human rights abuses and embolden the actions of the Chinese authorities. By broadcasting Beijing 2022, these companies will legitimize these abuses and promote what is being widely described as the ‘Genocide Games.’

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7 September 2021

Dear Tom Buhrow, Chairman; Tim Davie, Director General; Mirko Bibic, President and Chief Executive Officer; Hubert T. Lacroix, President and Chief Executive Officer; David M. Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer; JB Perrette, President & Chief Executive Officer; Merete Eldrup, Chief Executive Officer; Andrew Georgiou, President; Giorgos Gampritsos, Chief Executive Officer; Delphine Ernotte Cunci, Chief Executive Officer; Jorge Nóbrega, Chief Executive Officer; Kazimir Bacic, Director General; Dániel Papp, Chief Executive Officer;  Jeff Shell, Chief Executive Officer; Gerard Timmer, Chief Executive Officer;  Joe Natale, President and Chief Executive Officer; Jean-Paul Philippot, Chief Executive Officer; Stefán Eiríksson, Director General; José Manuel Pérez Tornero, Executive President; James Warburton, Chief Executive Officer; Sophie Maloney, Chief Executive Officer; Calvo Mawela, Chief Executive Officer; Marc Jury, Chief Executive Officer; Merja Ylä-Anttila, Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Thomas Bellut, Chief Executive Officer;

We, a coalition of over 200 global campaign groups representing Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers, Chinese, Southern Mongolians, Taiwanese, and other affected and concerned communities, are writing to you as the planned broadcasters of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games to urge you immediately cancel your broadcasting deals.

All of your companies are at serious risk of being complicit in China’s plan to ‘sport wash’ the severe and worsening human rights abuses and embolden the actions of the Chinese authorities. By broadcasting Beijing 2022 your companies will legitimize these abuses and promote what is being widely described as the ‘Genocide Games’.

Most of the media companies addressed in this letter have established policies that claim to promote and protect human rightswith strong commitments to adhering to global standards. Furthermore, a number of your companies are members of the ‘TV Industry Human Rights Forum,’ sit on acclaimed human rights boards or have specific ethics commissioners. All of these public commitments to standing up for human rights are to be lauded – by us and by your viewers – but these efforts will be entirely overshadowed by the abuses going on away from the cameras if you continue to support the Beijing Winter Olympics. Human rights commitments mean nothing if not accompanied by meaningful action; the sheer scale and severity of China’s human rights abuses demand serious attention and action.

The Chinese government has publicly stated that Beijing 2022 will be “open and inclusive”, create a “harmonious world” and promote “social progress” – just as it did ahead of the Beijing 2008 Summer Games, but to no avail. For those living under China’s oppressive rule, daily life is anything but; it is instead characterized by a merciless crackdown on individual and collective rights and freedom, an all-out assault on cultural diversity, and a tearing apart of community cohesion through sophisticated methods of surveillance and control.

At least two million Muslims – including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Uzbeks – are locked in “re-education camps” undergoing systematic torture and political re-education. The situation in occupied Tibet has dramatically deteriorated and in 2021 it was ranked by Freedom House as the least free place in the world for civil and political rights, alongside Syria. In Hong Kong, where Beijing has implemented a draconian National Security Law that bans acts of “splittism, subversion, foreign intervention, and terrorism”, freedom and democracy are under attack, and youth activists are being rounded up and imprisoned en masse. In mainland China, the Chinese authorities routinely disappear government critics, feminists, and academics, as they attempt to stifle all forms of peaceful dissent. At the same time, Beijing has intensified its decades-long tactics of geopolitical bullying and intimidation of democratic Taiwan.

Much like in 2008, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has attempted to counter concerns about human rights abuses in China by asserting that the Games will positively affect China’s rights record. The IOC also pledged to take action should China fall short in meeting its human rights promises. Subsequent developments showed this faith to be misplaced as the Chinese government repeatedly backtracked on the human rights pledges it made to secure the right to host the Games and there was no accountability by the IOC and the international community. Instead, China was given a free pass to wantonly violate human rights and fundamental freedoms.

A letter from Human Rights Watch to the IOC recently raised the fact that the 2022 Games will take place in a human rights environment significantly worse than that of 2008. The Beijing 2022 Games simply cannot go ahead without serious global opposition; the lessons from 2008 must be learned.

We urge you to immediately cancel your plans to broadcast the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, or risk being forever tainted by your partnership with China’s “Genocide Games”.

Genocide must be a red line that cannot be crossed, no matter the cost.

We also request the opportunity to meet with representatives of your company to discuss our serious concerns regarding the situation facing Tibetan, Uyghur, Hong Kong, Southern Mongolian, and Chinese activists.

Please contact Mandie McKeown (mandie@tibetnetwork.org) to discuss arranging this meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Mandie McKeown – Executive Director, International Tibet Network – on behalf of:

Dorjee Tseten, Students for a Free Tibet

Dolkun Isa, World Uyghur Congress

Rushan Abbas, Campaign for Uyghurs

Frances Hui, WeTheHongKongers

John Jones, Free Tibet

Tashi Shitsetsang,  Tibetan Youth Association Europe

Omer Kanat, Uyghur Human Rights Project

Jenny Wang,  Keep Taiwan Free

Teng Biao, 周锋锁  China Against the Death Penalty

Zhou Fengsuo, Humanitarian China

Zoe Bedford, Australia Tibet Council

Mattias Bjornerstedt, Swedish Tibet Committee

Enghebatu Togochog, Southern Mongolian Human Rights Center

Lhadon Tethong,
Tibet Action Institute

and the following organisations:

Aide aux Refugies Tibetains

Alberta Uyghur Association

Amigos de Tibet, Colombia

Amigos del Tíbet, Chile

Amigos del Tíbet, El Salvador

Anterrashtriya Bharat – Tibbet Sahyog Samiti

AREF International Onlus

Asociación Cultural Peruano Tibetana

Asociación Cultural Tibetano Costarricense

Association Cognizance Tibet, North Carolina

Association Drôme Ardèche-Tibet

Associazione Italia-Tibet

Association of the New School for Democracy

Australia China Watch

Australian East Turkestan Association

Australian Uyghur Association

Australian Uyghur Tangritagh Women’s Association

Austria Uyghur Association

Bath District Tibet Support Group

Bay Area Friends of Tibet

Belgium Uyghur Association

Bharrat Tibbat Sahyog Manch, India

Boston Tibet Network

Boston Uyghur Association

Briancon05 Urgence Tibet

Bristol Tibet

Canada Tibet Committee

Canadian Coalition Against Communism

Captive Nations Coaltion

Casa del Tibet – Spain

Casa Tibet México

Centro De Cultura Tibetana, Brazil

China Alarm

Circle of Friends (Philippines)

Citizen Power Initiatives for China

Comité de Apoyo al Tibet (CAT)

Comité pour la Liberté à Hong-Kong

Committee of 100 for Tibet

Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India

Czechs Support Tibet

DC Chapter of China Democracy Party

Defend Democracy

Dream for Children, Japan

Dutch Uyghur Human Rights Foundation

East Turkistan Association in Finland

East Turkistan Association of Canada

East Turkistan Education Center in Europe

East Turkistan New Generation Movement

East Turkistan Nuzugum Culture and Family Organization

East Turkistan Press and Media Organization

East Turkistan Union in Europe

Eastern Turkistan Foundation

Eastern Turkistan Uyghur Association in Netherlands

EcoTibet Ireland

Étudiants Pour Un Tibet Libre

Euro-Asia Foundation: Teklimakan Publishing House

European Uyghur Institute

Federation for a Democratic China

Foundation for Universal Responsibility of H. H. the Dalai Lama


Free Indo-Pacific Alliance

Free Tibet Fukuoka


Friends of Tibet in Costa Rica

Friends of Tibet in Finland

Friends of Tibet New Zealand


Germany Stands with Hong Kong

Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities

Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete, Portugal

Hong Kong Committee in Norway

Hong Kong Outlanders

Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan

Ilham Tohti Initiative

India Tibet Friendship Society

International Campaign for Tibet

International Pen Uyghur Center

International Society for Human Rights- Sweden

International Society of Human Rights, Munich Chapter

International Support for Uyghurs

International Tibet Independence Movement

International Uyghur Human Right and Democracy Foundation

Isa Yusup Alptekin Foundation

Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People

Japan Association of Monks for Tibet (Super Sangha)

Japan Uyghur Association

Justice 4 Uyghurs

Justice For All Canada

Kazakhstan National Culture Center

Le Club Français, Paraguay

Les Amis du Tibet – Belgium

Les Amis du Tibet Luxembourg

Lions Des Neiges Mont Blanc, France

Lungta Association Belgium

Maison des Himalayas

Maison du Tibet – Tibet Info

Mavi Hilal Humanitarian Organization

McGill Hong Kong Public Awareness and Social Service

National Campaign for Tibetan Support, India

National Democratic Party of Tibet

Norwegian Uyghur Committee

Objectif TibetPasseport Tibetain

Phagma Drolma-Arya Tara

RangZen:Movimento Tibete Livre, Brazil

Regional Tibetan Association of Massachusetts

Roof of the World Foundation, Indonesia

Sakya Trinley Ling

Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet

Save the Mongolian Language

Save the Persecuted Christians

Save Tibet Foundation

Save Tibet, Austria

Shukr Foundation

Sierra Friends of Tibet

Society for Threatened Peoples International

Society Union of Uyghur National Association

Stand With Hong Kong Vienna

Students for a Free Tibet – Canada

Students for a Free Tibet – UK

Students for a Free Tibet Denmark

Students for a Free Tibet India

Students for a Free Tibet Japan

Sweden Uyghur Education Union

Swedish Tibet Committee

Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association (GSTF)

Switzerland East Turkestan Association

台灣永社 Taiwan Forever Association

Taiwan Friends of Tibet

Taiwan Association for Human Rights

Taiwan Labour Front

Tashi Delek Bordeaux

The Norwegian Tibet Committee

The Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, Mongolia and Turkestan

Tibet Action Group of Western Australia

Tibet cesky (Tibet in Czech)

Tibet Committee of Fairbanks

Tibet Group, Panama

Tibet Initiative Deutschland

Tibet Justice Center

Tibet Lives, India

Tibet Mx

Tíbet Patria Libre, Uruguay

Tibet Rescue Initiative in Africa

Tibet Society of South Africa

Tibet Support Committee Denmark

Tibet Support Group Adelaide

Tibet Support Group Kenya

Tibet Support Group Kiku, Japan

Tibet Support Group Netherlands

Tibet Support Group Slovenia

Tibetan Association of Germany

Tibetan Association of Ithaca

Tibetan Association of Northern California

Tibetan Association of Philadelphia

Tibetan Community Austria

Tibetan Community in Britain

Tibetan Community in Denmark

Tibetan Community in Ireland

Tibetan Community of Italy

Tibetan Community of Victoria

Tibetan Community Sweden

Tibetan Community, Queensland

Tibetan Cultural Association – Quebec

Tibetan Programme of The Other Space Foundation

Tibetan Women’s Association (Central)

Tibetans of Mixed Heritage

Tibetisches Zentrum Hamburg


Torontonian HongKongers Action Group

U.S. Tibet Committee

Uigur Society of the Kyrgyz Republic

Umer Uyghur Trust

United Nations for a Free Tibet (UNFFT)

US Hongkongers Club

Uyghur Academy

Uyghur American Association

Uyghur Association of Victoria

Uyghur Association of France

Uyghur Center for Human Rights and Democracy

Uyghur Cultural and Education Union in Germany

Uyghur Education Union

Uyghur Projects Foundation

Uyghur Refugee Relief Fund

Uyghur Research Institute

Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project

Uyghur Support Group Netherlands

Uyghur Transitional Justice Database

Uyghur U.K. Association

Uyghur Youth Union in Kazakhstan

Uzbekistan Uyghur Culture Center

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

Viktoria Uyghur Association

Voces Tibet

World Uyghur Congress Foundation