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In February 2022, Beijing will become the first city in the world to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Just like in 2008, Beijing will host an elite sporting event. Just like in 2008, it has the opportunity to dazzle the world with a glitzy opening ceremony and hi-tech infrastructure. Just like in 2008, the Chinese Communist Party will try to use the prestige of the Olympics to cover up its extensive crimes and abuses.
We cannot allow history to repeat.
The decision to award the 2022 Winter Games to Beijing was a scandalous one. Horrendous human rights abuses, including crackdowns in Tibet and genocide against the Uyghur people, are being directed from Beijing.
Tibetans also remember the last time Beijing hosted an Olympics. The 2008 Games were preceded by a brutal crackdown in Tibet, which has only become worse with time.
The International Olympic Committee has learned nothing from 2008. The human rights situation in China and Tibet is more appalling than ever and the Chinese government wants to use another festival of sport to legitimise its brutal policies. It falls to us to speak out.
Governments and sporting associations should announce that they are staying away from these games. The scale of the abuses against Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers, Southern Mongolians and Chinese citizens who speak out demands action. If not now…when?