Tibetan activists announce the “death” of the IOC after brazen collaboration with Chinese government
On Friday 26 November, protesters gathered outside the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland
Tibetan-Canadian, Chemi Lhamo, who recently disrupted the Beijing 2022 Olympic Torch Ceremony in Olympia, and Tibetan filmmaker and former political prisoner Golog Jigme  led the action by expressing their complete dismay at the IOC’s blatant disregard of China’s human rights abuses and went on to announce the ‘death of the Olympic Committee’ and offering hope that they will one day be reborn as something better. The protest is part of the No Beijing 2022 campaign, a coalition of over 200 rights groups that are calling for a boycott of Beijing 2022.
The protest was organised following the IOC’s complicity in the attempts to silence tennis-player Peng Shuai’s accusations of sexual assault and the IOC’s continued ignoring of human rights abuses in favour of profitable partnerships. 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 IOC’s 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, leading to over 150 Tibetans setting themselves on fire in protest.
The IOC has proved itself incapable upholding the Olympic principles
John Jones, Free Tibet
Chemi Lhamo, said:
“The IOC continues time and time again to solidify their relationship with the Chinese government putting money over morals. With their involvement in Peng Shaui’s situation the IOC has reached a new low. We call upon the international community of athletes, governments and humans of conscience in our campaign to boycott Beijing 2022.”
Golog Jigme, said:
“When I watched the news of IOC’s video call with Peng Shuai I felt that she was deprived of her freedom by looking at her face. If the IOC’s efforts for verifying Peng Shuai’s wellbeing are genuine, then why don‘t they do the same with all Tibetans?”
Tashi Shitse of Tibetan Youth Association in Europe, said:
“We welcome our fellow Tibetan activists from around the world for this important action. Peng Shuai and thousands of others have been silenced by the Chinese Communist Party and it is unacceptable that the IOC awarded them the Winter Olympics for 2022.”
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. We hope that governments, sports bodies and athletes themselves will reconsider taking part in Beijing 2022 given the impossible situation the IOC’s greed has placed them in.”
Chemi Lhamo, Golog Jigme, John Jones and others are available for interview.
Still images and video footage of the protest are available.
Media contact – Will Hoyles, Free Tibet, 07772512519, [email protected]
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The protest was organised by UK-based Free Tibet, Tibetan Youth Association in Europe, and local Canton de Vaud Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association. It was staged as part of the ‘No Beijing 2022’ campaign, a coordinated campaign with a coalition of over 200 global rights groups that are calling for a boycott of Beijing 2022 – https://nobeijing2022.org/
- Golog Jigme is a Tibetan monk, film-maker and former political prisoner living in exile in Zurich, Switzerland. He was detained by Chinese authorities in 2008 after helping to record Tibetans talking about the situation in Tibet and their thoughts about the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was imprisoned and tortured.
- Losing the Bet on Human Rights: Beijing, Tibet and the Olympic Games, 19 March 2015: https://tibetnetwork.org/free1/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Losing-The-Bet-on-Human-Rights-Tibet_Beijing-Olympic-Bid-2022.pdf
- No Beijing 2022: Coalition Condemn Olympic Committee’s Role in China’s Abuse of Peng Shuai: https://nobeijing2022.org/coalition-condemn-ioc-role-in-pengshuai-abuse