Despite China’s claim to have shut down the centers, an investigation by a credible news organization disclosed that the Chinese government was running “high-security camps.
Crédit d'image : viewpoint.net.in
Publié le 21 février 2022, par Samir | 7 h 22 min
Temps de lecture : 9 minutes
Beijing Winter Olympics have been under discussion for many reasons, including China’s no-COVID protocol and the most controversial systematic genocide of Uyghurs, a minority ethnic community. Media and news publications must highlight the other issue more as it is labeled “Xinjiang emergency” by religious scholars and analysts.
More than one million Uyghurs, a Muslim minority ethnic group based in northwestern China, have lived forcefully in detention camps for over five years. According to The Washington Post, the reasons for their forced detention vary from headcover and beard ban to childbirth or travel restrictions. A senior Program Officer at the Uyghur Human Rights Project called it the destruction of the cultural identity of Uyghurs.
North Carolina U.S. Senator Thom Tillis posted a tweet last week:
“We must not forget the ongoing atrocities China is committing against the Uyghurs.
We must continue to hold the Chinese Communist Party responsible for its egregious human rights violations.”
What’s more surprising is the sheer silence of government officials and corporate bodies on this alarming issue. China has portrayed a fictional narrative that Uyghurs live a happy and peaceful life. Reports from the detention camp survivors show inhumane crimes, including rape and torture. Despite China’s claim to have shut down the centers, an investigation by a credible news organization disclosed that the Chinese government was running “high-security camps.”
Countries Boycotting the Winter Olympics
The countries boycotting the ongoing international winter multi-sport event are the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. However, their athletes are still taking part in the event. Lithuania, Kosovo, and India are also boycotting the games on diplomatic levels.
India’s diplomatic boycott came off at the eleventh hour as an officer actively involved in the border tension between China and India was the torchbearer in the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games.
Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson from the Ministry of External Affairs India, showed his regret on China’s choice to politicize the Olympics. Hence, India is not present with its athletes in opening or closing ceremonies at the sports event.
Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, and Norway are also boycotting winter sports. Diplomatic boycotts imply that government delegations will not attend, but athletes will participate due to the pandemic and Beijing’s Covid-19 restrictions.
Reports of silent protests against the winter games are flaring up as an ongoing event. An Olympian band from different countries secretly protested against the inauguration ceremony last week. Another gold medalist is ready to initiate a public condemnation against China’s violation of human rights after the event is over.
The organizers of Beijing winter sports have reportedly sent punishment threats of athlete speech. Regardless a protest campaign is resurfacing, and initial reports reveal a systematic US-led deadlock with China and the International Olympic Committee.
“Those athletes that are skipping Opening Ceremonies, I am proud of them. But there aren’t enough negative words in the dictionary to adequately describe my feelings for the IOC for putting these athletes in this situation. They knew when they decided to locate the Olympics in Beijing that China had a horrific human-rights record”, Rep. James McGovern, Co-chairperson Congressional commission monitoring China.
Audience rooting for every athlete
China tries its best to engage the audience in its biggest winter games. To join the Olympics games as an audience, sports enthusiasts must belong to a Communist Party, a student party, or a state-owned organization. Government bodies, diplomats, and sponsors also keep tickets to enter the events.
Young men and women join the games joyfully, cheering for their favorite athlete.
« We are all from the same company, » a spectator says. « I am just glad that I had a chance to come and see an event at the Olympics when most people have missed out. It’s so nice to be here.”, The BBC reported. These happy spectators get more excited when their native athletes play; however, they root for everyone.
‘We don’t know anything about skating, » one woman told The BBC. « We are just here to watch and cheer the athletes along, to be part of the atmosphere. It’s great. »
The Olympics 2022 organizers want to keep the audience in a limited number, and thus they are trying to control the spread of coronavirus, which had its origin from China only. The host country has actively worked on a “zero COVID” strategy.
It is notable to mention China’s inclusion of an Uyghur athlete to become the Olympics torchbearer at the opening ceremony. The US diplomats called this participation of athletes Zhao Jiawen and Dinigeer Yilamujiang a distraction strategy from the ongoing Muslim Uyghurs genocide.
China’s victimization of the Uyghurs
The mass confinement of Muslim ethnic groups since 2016 proved that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) aims for an organized eradication of Uyghurs. Their strategy lies in reforming the Uyghurs into easily influenced and productive citizens through re-educating themselves.
They took away children from their parents and put them into state care to succeed in this effort. Uyghur women face forced prolific birth control sexual abuse, and those in detention have to join a systematically imposed labor. Experts believe this is a planned motive of the Chinese government to influence these children to adopt their language and live like the Han ethnic majority.
« This ideological impulse of trying to assimilate non-Han people corresponded with this punitive approach of putting adults in camps, and therefore lots of young children ended up in boarding kindergartens and boarding schools or orphanages, » said a Georgetown University professor, James Millward. “It is an effort to try to make everyone Chinese and see themselves as Chinese and have a single cultural background. »
The government also banned using the Uyghur language in script or signage and ruled out new legal prohibitions on religious activities and worship places. The state promotes interethnic marriages using financial inducements between Uyghur women and Han men. They do this by tyrannizing the Uyghur academia.
According to a tweet by NPR, “China rejects the widespread accusations of wrongful discrimination against Uyghurs and other minorities in the region — but Uyghurs, rights advocates, and reporters have documented numerous accounts of systematic abuse.”
Hananya Naftali, a prominent media personality from Israel, tweeted earlier,
“I refuse to watch the Beijing Olympics. As long as Chinese Christians are persecuted and jailed for their faith, and as long as the Uyghurs are forced into education camps. We all should boycott the Beijing Olympics. Human rights are more important than entertainment.”
The Chinese regime has reportedly sent Christian Uyghurs to detention camps as part of the imposed indoctrination campaign. Those detained had to feel enslaved inside imprisonment among the thousands of Christian Uyghurs.
I.O.C. on this issue
No institution other than China has received such backlash around the restricted moral stature of these Olympics events than the International Olympic Committee (OIC).
● Recently the I.O.C. has been criticized for presenting the Olympics Games to politically strong nations like China and Russia mainly because they hold the authority to suppress local opposition.
● The I.O.C. permitted China to avoid a mandated assessment regarding its human rights circumstances that the future host countries will encounter to make things tenser.
● I.O.C. restricts athletes from using the podium or sports field to protest peacefully.
Maura Elizabeth, a Chinese historian, writes, “The International Olympic Committee appears to share the Chinese party-state’s desire for a controlled event free of televised controversy. I.O.C. officials have rebuffed attempts to discuss the moral or political implications of holding the Games in an authoritarian state, asserting time and again that sports and politics should not mix.”
What about IOC reforms?
Mike Waltz and Jennifer Wexton, the US representatives, have proposed that bipartisan legislation could remove the I.O.C. from its tax-exempt position. They wrote in Newsweek that the US tax-paying citizens must not invest in these Olympics Games that promote propaganda moves of powerful governments and uplift their image globally.
What do athletes say?
Athletes are the most crucial than any individual or officials in the Games. According to Brian Alexander, as he wrote in The Boston Globe, they act like the meat in the grinder associated with a vast entertainment-industrial complex. “So if you were to begin feeling a little uncomfortable skiing, skating, or curling on the backs of innocent people imprisoned for the crime of being who they are and you decided not to go, you could force the I.O.C. to stop abetting the trampling of human rights.”
But majority believes that it would be a futile and unfair attempt if athletes boycott the Olympics. In retrospect, this strategy never worked, and China is unlikely to get harmed by such pressure, David Lunt, a sports historian, stated. “I think the consensus is it mostly hurts the athletes who trained so hard, especially since it’s once every four years. Most people’s peaks are only so long.”
A reporter for Politico, Derek Robertson, said that the World Uyghur Congress had not initiated a boycott against Olympics 2022. WUC is an international organization advocating for minority ethnic groups. Instead, they would want the athletes to utilize the Olympics platform to amplify their voice following the Black Lives Matter advocacy pattern.
“There are a lot of us athletes who are super upset about the genocide in China,” said an anonymous Olympic snowboarder to avoid retaliation, according to Yahoo News. “But we’re struggling to figure out, what can we do?” She further said that the I.O.C. is the body that selects the host country.
Responsibility of Muslim Community
Analysts are presenting the argument emphasizing the need for Muslim nations to speak up against China’s injustices. Yasmeen Serhan wrote in The Atlantic that Muslim-majority nations must join hands to stage a combined protest as systematic as their condemnation of Israel atrocities and the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. She believes that the Muslim world’s response to the Uyghur genocide lacks intensity.
“There is no clear incentive for these countries to take a stand, nor is there an international movement advocating for majority-Muslim countries to use their collective voice. But without them, any Western-led effort to apply pressure on China is unlikely to have the desired effect,” Serhan wrote.
Outcomes of the Silent Boycott
Analysts believe the US ban on attending the Olympics 2022 might not bear fruitful outcomes; experts believe by reflecting on past Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. Others, including Victor Cha, senior VP at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, stated that the diplomatic boycott would remove the political influence of the Games by disallowing officials from broadcasting their opinions across China. He further said,
“China’s playbook is to weather the political storm in the run-up to the Games with the expectation that once the competitions start, the stories of athletic gold medal performance will dominate the media cycle and will mute the political protests.”
In retrospect, the 1936 Olympics in Berlin witnessed similar events, a propaganda attempt for the Nazis. The International Olympic Committee made Germany an official host in 1931 to showcase that Germany has returned after post-World War I defeat. It turned out to be a life and death match for two hundred athletes who intended to participate in the Popular Olympics, but most of them lost their lives.