Among other things, China has been criticized for its treatment of Uyghur and Tibetan ethnic groups and for the situation in Hong Kong.
But the country has denied human rights violations.
Mary Harvey, executive director of the Center for Sports and Human Rights, calls for openness from the host country.
– At present, with the lack of information, it is difficult to say (whether the Olympic Games will be held in the country). You say, I think sunlight is the best antidote.
Harvey says the world of sports is more aware than ever, and that both athletes and fans are asking more questions.
They care about where the products they buy are made, they care whether or not they will be safe in certain situations, or whether they will be able to express themselves freely. She says it is a legitimate concern.
The boycott is not true
Harvey notes that voices calling for a boycott of the Winter Games are growing.
The people who defend it (the boycott) are getting loud and wanting information. Harvey says they want more information to be able to refute their concerns.
She is a goalkeeper for the United States National Football Team and won Olympic gold in 1996 and doesn’t think boycott is the right way. She believes that the International Olympic Committee can play an important role in supporting human rights in China.
According to Susan Lyons, chair of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, there are tools other than boycotting to celebrate dictatorship in China.
“We do not believe that Team USA players should be used as political tools in these matters,” she said earlier in April.
Schiffrin criticizes the International Olympic Committee
American Alpine star Michaela Schiffrin said in March that she did not think it was reasonable to have to choose between “her values” and “doing her job.”
She expressed that the International Olympic Committee should give more thought to the athletes’ situation when choosing an organizer.
It seems that there may be more considerations when arranging an event aimed at bringing the world together and creating hope and a sense of peace, in some way, she said.
Some places are more suitable than others.
The Beijing Olympics will be scheduled for February 4-20, 2022.
In a letter in February, more than 180 human rights organizations called on countries to boycott the Beijing Olympics, which will open on February 4 next year. The reason is frequent reports of how the Chinese system violates the human rights of many minorities.
In the letter, they wrote that they are calling for a boycott of the games to ensure that the Winter Games are not used to justify China’s violations and human rights violations.
According to human rights groups, the country has gradually abolished, among other things, the rights of the Muslim minority, the Uyghurs.
A member of the Students for Free Tibet, one of the groups behind the message, went so far as to compare China as a host country with Nazi Germany when it hosted the 1936 Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee responded that a boycott was not the best solution. Chairman Thomas Bach said the boycott never led to anything, it only affected athletes.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Beijing Olympics would be “excellent.” He also indicated that it is not responsible for some parties to try to “disrupt and sabotage” preparations “to serve their political purposes.”
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