Beijing [China], (ANI): Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the Beijing Olympics on Friday flanked by leaders who are described by Democracy Index 2020, as authoritarian countries.
Some 20 high-level dignitaries including Presidents, Prime Ministers and heads of state are attending the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, around half of those dignitaries hail from authoritarian countries with several others listed as “hybrid regimes,” American news broadcaster CNN reported.
The 2022 Beijing Games officially launched today against a backdrop of Chinese government crimes against humanity targeting Uyghur Muslims and other Turkic communities.
Several governments have announced they would withhold sending high-level diplomatic representation to the Games in response to Beijing’s ongoing abuses.
Democracies including Britain, Australia, and Canada are among those to join a US-led diplomatic boycott of the Games, citing the human rights record of China. Other countries including New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Austria have declined invitations, citing the pandemic or Beijing’s stringent Covid-19 controls.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said these Games–by which Beijing hopes to “sportswash” its abysmal rights record–reflect Xi Jinping’s assault on human rights since coming to power: devastating independent civil society, erasing press freedom, expanding high-tech surveillance.
Several rights groups said that the International Olympic Committee and The Olympic Partners (TOP) corporate sponsors of these Games have not addressed questions whether their involvement would contribute to human rights violations, including concerns around forced labor.
“It’s not possible for the Olympic Games to be a ‘force for good,’ as the International Olympic Committee claims, while the host government is committing grave crimes in violation of international law,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at HRW, said in a statement. Image(instagram)