Human rights groups are pleading with international television networks including U.S. giant NBC and the UK’s BBC to ignore next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics which are already being dubbed the “genocide games” by protesters.
The call comes after reciprocal warnings from China that any country or business organization that directly boycotts the event can expect “serious sanctions.”
The Associated Press reports the plea for a media blackout is contained in an open letter from rights groups representing persecuted minorities in China, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kong residents and others.
The letter, obtained by AP, was sent Tuesday to NBC Universal chief executive officer Jeff Shell and other international broadcast executives warning they risk “being complicit” in the “worsening human rights abuses” in China.
Even countries that choose to participate are being challenged, as Breitbart News reported, with the U.S. already being urged to have nothing to do with the brutal regime in Beijing.
According to the AP report, NBC is paying $7.75 billion for the rights to the next six Olympics and works closely as a partner with the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Those payments are estimated to account for up to 40 percent of the IOC’s total income. The letter says the broadcasters risk “being complicit” in the “worsening human rights abuses” in China.
For its part, the IOC has repeatedly said it is only a sports body and its president Thomas Bach has declined to address or condemn the treatment of Uyghurs or other minorities in China much less openly consider dropping the event altogether.
There's a reason why the world is uniting to boycott the Communist Chinese Genocide Olympics. https://t.co/cUBW8wl5Vn
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 31, 2021
Lhadon Tethong, co-chair of the International Tibet Network, said Canadian broadcaster CBC, Britain’s BBC and ARD in Germany, which all receive public money, should drop broadcast plans. She urged the public in those countries to speak up as one in protest.
“It is unconscionable that NBC, CBC and other broadcasters plan to help Chinese leaders project a rosy image of an ‘Olympic Games as usual’ while they are carrying out genocide against the Uyghurs, and engaging in a massive campaign of repression against Tibetans and so many others,” Tethong wrote to Associated Press.
The IOC included human rights requirements several years ago in the host city contract for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but it did not include those guidelines — the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights — for Beijing.
Critics however compare the choice of Beijing for the Olympic Games to the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Germany, with the Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF) previously protesting “we are confronting another totalitarian regime actively engaging in, among crimes against humanity, another genocide.”
Last month Breitbart News exclusively reported participation at Beijing, by countries and sponsors or both, is deemed “indefensible” in light of the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide against the ethnic Uyghur people and other Muslim-majority minorities of East Turkestan, according to the the World Uyghur Congress.
The final word goes to Lhadon Tethong who finished the missive calling for a broadcast boycott by saying: “With this letter we are putting the networks on notice. If they broadcast the Beijing 2022 Olympics, they will be complicit.”
AP contributed to this story