Date: Friday 26 November 2021
Time: 12:00 – 13:00 CET
Location: International Olympic Committee (IOC), Lausanne, Switzerland
Following the IOC’s complicity in the attempts to silence tennis-player Peng Shaui’s accusations of sexual assault, Tibetan activist groups from across the world are uniting to mourn the death of the principles the IOC was established to promote.
Protesters will gather outside the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland to hold a mock funeral for the IOC. Participants will express the hope that the IOC can be reborn as something better. The protest is part of the No Beijing 2022 campaign, a coalition of over 180 rights groups that are calling for a boycott of Beijing 2022.
Speaking at the event will be Chemi Lhamo, the Tibetan-Canadian activist who was arrested in October for disrupting the Olympic torch lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece, and Golog Jigme, the Tibetan activist who was jailed for his involvement in protests against the last Olympic Games in China and escaped Tibet in 2014.
The protesters believe that the IOC has betrayed Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers, Southern Mongolians and Chinese dissidents through its inaction, corruption and willingness to side with the Chinese Communist Party despite clear evidence that the Olympics are being used to sports wash the Chinese leadership’s human rights atrocities.
The decision to award the 2022 Winter Games to Beijing is particularly painful to Tibetans, as it echoes the 2008 Olympics, a decision that directly led to Tibet being closed off from the world and becoming the least free place on Earth, as well as over 159 Tibetans carrying out self-immolation protests, many of them fatal.
There is simply no way that any government can justify taking part in the Beijing Winter Olympics
John Jones, Free Tibet
Ahead of the protest, John Jones, Free Tibet’s Campaigns, Policy and Research Manager, said:
“The IOC has proved itself incapable upholding the Olympic principles represented by thousands of athletes around the world. Instead, it has put profit over the safety of Peng Shaui and allowed the message of the Olympics to be tainted by the evils of the Chinese government.
“We hope that the Olympic movement can be reborn but there is simply no way that any government can justify taking part in the Beijing Winter Olympics. Athletes and their representatives will also have to consider whether they can take part given the impossible situation the IOC’s greed has placed them in.”
Chemi Lhamo, Golog Jigme, John Jones and others are available for interview before and after the event.
Still images and video footage of the protest will be available following the protest. Images of previous protests are available now.
Media contact – Will Hoyles, Free Tibet, 07772512519, [email protected]
No Beijing 2022 website – https://nobeijing2022.org/
Free Tibet website – https://freetibet.org/
Free Tibet is a London-based organisation established to support the Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom. Our vision is a free Tibet in which Tibetans are able to determine their own future and the human rights of all are respected. www.freetibet.org