On Friday, international activists, including Tibetans, Hong Kongers and Uighurs, joined together to lobby among athletes and sponsors, a boycott of the “genocide games.” 

At a press conference organized by Human Rights Watch, activists representing groups persecuted by the Chinese regime said athletes at the Beijing Olympics should speak out against the Games, The Associated Press reported.

Those who spoke at the conference focused on urging those who now have a historic chance not to betray their consciences and speak out against human rights abuses by the Chinese regime.

“Your silence is their strength. This is what they want more than anything: that the world will play by China’s rules, that we will follow China’s lead, that we will look away from these atrocities and crimes for the sake of business as usual,” said Tibet Action Institute director Lhadon Tethong.

“I personally believe that you should use your platform and your privilege and this historic opportunity. You have to speak out against the wave of genocide,” he said.

Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, “The so-called human rights group is biased against China and is willing to go on rampages. The lies and rumors it fabricates are unpopular. Its shameless acts that harm the Olympic cause will never succeed.”

The human rights groups are also calling on the world’s television networks not to broadcast this year’s Winter Olympics. They argue that doing so would help restore the CCP’s international image, tarnished by the barbaric genocide of minority and religious groups.

Several countries have taken positions on the issue. Taiwan this week announced in a statement that while it would send its athletes, it was joining the diplomatic boycott by the US, UK, Australia, Japan, Denmark and the Netherlands, and would not send any government representatives to China. It also urged Beijing not to use the Games politically to belittle the island. 

“We call on this year’s organizers to abide by the ‘Olympic Charter’ and not use political factors to interfere with the competition and suppress and belittle our side. Relevant government units will also be prepared to respond to various emergencies,” the statement concluded.

The White House had announced the administrative boycott on December 6 in protest of the CCP’s human rights violations. The U.S. formally accused China of genocide and crimes against humanity in the final days of the Trump administration.

The Chinese regime consistently denies the accusations and following the White House message Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that “The U.S. will pay a price for its practices.” 

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is accused of imprisoning innocent people in a network of forced labor camps, including Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking ethnic group mostly from Xinjiang, Tibetans and practitioners of the Buddhist spiritual discipline Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa). 

Egregious abuses have been reported against these groups, ranging from forced sterilizations, torture, mass rapes and forced organ harvesting while the person is still alive to be sold on the transplant market. 

An open letter to athletes that human rights groups read at the conference against “the Genocide Games” said, “Surely human life is worth more than medals?” 

“We urge you to choose the right side and stand against genocide,” they wrote, NBC Bayarea reported.

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