The head of Human Rights Watch said that Beijing is using the Winter Olympics to hide its “terrible” human rights record, calling on more countries to join the diplomatic boycott launched by the United States.
In an interview with Agence France-Presse, Kenneth Roth, before the publication of the annual report of the NGO on human rights violations, accused people of the world: “It is clear that the Chinese government is using the Beijing Games to whitewash or hide its terrible repression under sporting exploits.”
For him, more countries have to refuse to send government officials to attend the games.
The United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom announced that they would not send official representation to the Games due to “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other .human rights violations.”
On the other hand, athletes from these countries will participate well in competitions.
Kenneth Roth believes that countries “can’t just pretend everything is okay.” “At the very least, the international community should join the diplomatic boycott of the Games,” he asserts.
It also targets sponsors: “Instead of helping with money laundering, they should shine a light on what’s happening in Xinjiang.”
Human rights organizations accuse the communist regime of detaining more than one million Uyghurs in political re-education camps.
Beijing denies this figure and talks about “vocational training centers” aimed at radicalizing the population, after attacks attributed to Islamists or Uyghur separatists.
Kenneth Roth also attacked Elon Musk and his company Tesla, which had just announced the opening of a showroom in Xinjiang.
“Every company should do everything they can to support or legitimize the repression of the Chinese government,” he said, believing that Tesla was going “completely against the tide.”
On the other hand, he praised the recent US legislation banning all imports from Xinjiang unless the importer can prove that the imported product is free of any coercive action.
He called on other countries to follow suit.
He also welcomed the fact that more countries seemed willing to criticize China at the United Nations and hoped that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights would publish a report on Xinjiang soon. Michelle Bachelet, who heads the High Commission, has asked Beijing for “meaningful and unimpeded access” to Xinjiang for years, but such a visit has not yet been possible.
On the other hand, he blamed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is due to go to the Games, “for remaining completely silent and refusing to criticize the Chinese government.”
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