LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Two Tibetan students chained themselves to the Olympic rings on Saturday outside the Swiss headquarters of the International Olympic Committee to call for an international boycott of next year’s winter games.
The couple were part of the latest protest against the 2022 Olympics against Beijing’s human rights abuses and its treatment of minorities.
The United States will not send government officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics due to China’s “atrocities” on human rights, he said earlier this month.
Members of the Association of Tibetan Youth in Europe (TYAE) and Students for a Free Tibet held a sit-in at the IOC building in Lausanne as officials gathered for a meeting.
Activists called on countries to pull out of the event they called the “Genocide Games,” which they said are being used to boost China’s reputation.
China took control of Tibet after its troops entered the region in 1950 in what it calls “peaceful liberation.” Tibet has since become one of the most restricted areas in the country. Critics, led by exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, claim the Beijing regime amounts to “cultural genocide.”
Two activists unfurled a banner above the entrance to the building reading “No Beijing 2022”, while five students entered the building and staged a sit-in protest.
“Despite growing international criticism of the IOC and China, the Chinese regime’s human rights abuses in Tibet, East Turkestan and Hong Kong continue unabated,” said Tenzing Dhokhar, TYAE’s director of campaigns, the one of the demonstrators.
“By collaborating with China, the IOC is complicit in the crimes of the Chinese Communist Party, which will be scorned by the Beijing Olympics.”
Police began to evict the activists after three hours of protests. Organizers and a Reuters eyewitness called the protest peaceful, but the IOC said one of its security officers was injured.
âThe IOC is always listening to all concerns directly related to the Olympics. We have engaged on several occasions with peaceful protesters and explained our position, but we will not engage with violent protesters who have used the force to enter the IOC building and injured a security guard. in doing so, “the IOC said in a statement.
The organization has previously stated that it is a force for good and that it cannot have any influence over sovereign states.
Chinese authorities have been accused of facilitating forced labor by detaining around one million Uyghurs and other mainly Muslim minorities in camps since 2016.
China denies any wrongdoing, saying it has set up vocational training centers to fight extremism.