By Reena BhardwajWashington [US], June 24 (ANI): Dozens of Uyghur, Tibetan and Hong Kong activists gathered outside the White House to protest against the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and to call for a complete boycott.
On International Olympics Day, representatives of minority groups from China, now living in the United States became a part of the Global Day of Action against the Beijing Olympics, which involved demonstrations in over 50 other cities around the world including Washington. The diverse group united together to call on the US government to draw a red line for genocide and boycott Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics.
"The Biden administration has been talking about diplomatic boycott, but we are here to say that is not enough," said Tenzing Barshee, President of the Capital Area Tibetan Association representing hundreds of Tibetans living in and around Washington DC.
Calling the upcoming winter games a 'genocidal Olympics', Barshee stressed that corporates around the world must immediately discontinue their sponsorship for the Games or they will forever tarnish their reputation as socially responsible companies.
Before protesting outside the White House, activists got together at the Mars Global Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia for a demonstration featuring a political theatre calling on Mars Global, an American company to drop their Beijing 2022 sponsorship.
"Given the horrific human rights abuses committed by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), Mars must immediately withdraw their sponsorship of the Beijing Olympics," Barshee added.
Early this year, the United States became the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as "genocide" under the administration of former President Donald Trump. Recently, the US Congress had considered a diplomatic boycott of the Games. Rights groups, however, do not believe this sends a strong enough message.
"Hong Kongers stand united with our Tibetan, Uyghur, Taiwanese, and other friends in strong opposition to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. An authoritarian regime that commits genocide, crimes against humanity, and even public-health cover-ups for the purpose of strengthening its own control shouldn't receive the honor of hosting an international sporting event," said Jeffrey Ngo, representing DC for Hong Kong group.
"I think it really shows the reaches of the Communist Party of China and the aggressive policies that they are taking, not just within China, but also in autonomous regions such as Hong Kong but also its neighbors, such as India," TN Tsin from Hong Kong told ANI.
More than 40 countries led by Canada voiced grave concerns at the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday about China's actions in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet -- triggering a fierce backlash from Beijing.
The widely anticipated joint statement had been in the pipeline for several days and was delivered on day two of the 47th session of the council in Geneva.
China has been rebuked globally for a crackdown on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
"We are seeing very positive outcomes from the current administration. However, China's still doing what they are doing to the Uyghurs they never stop. And actually, the suppression is getting worse and worse. Therefore, the current administration needs to take a stronger stand to help Uyghurs," Mustufa Aksu of Uyghur heritage told ANI.
Apart from Washington, people also rallied in other cities across the United States on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to protest Beijing's hosting of the Winter Olympics in 2022. NoBeijing2022 is a global campaign with marches planned on Wednesday, June 23.
Bay Area Friends of Tibet tweeted videos and photos of them joining in the peaceful protest on the bridge. (ANI)