© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Employees work near the emblem for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on display at the Shanghai Sports Museum in Shanghai, China, December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Ali Song/File Photo
LAUSANNE (Reuters) – Two Tibetan students chained themselves to the Olympic rings on Saturday outside the Swiss headquarters of the International Olympic Committee to demand an international boycott of next year’s Winter Games.
The pair were part of the recent protest against the 2022 Olympics against Beijing’s human rights abuses and treatment of minorities.
He said earlier this month that the United States would not send government officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics due to China’s “atrocities” on human rights.
Members of the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe (TYAE) and Students for a Free Tibet held a sit-in at the International Olympic Committee building in Lausanne where officials gathered for a meeting.
Activists called on countries to withdraw from the event they called the “Genocide Games”, which they said were used to bolster China’s reputation.
China took control of Tibet after its forces entered the region in 1950 in what it calls “peaceful liberation”. Tibet has since become one of the most restricted areas in the country. Critics, led by the exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, claim that the Beijing regime amounts to “cultural genocide”.
Two activists raised a banner above the entrance to the building that read “No Beijing 2022,” while five students entered the building and staged a sit-in.
“Despite the growing international criticism of the IOC and China, the human rights abuses of the Chinese regime in Tibet, East Turkestan and Hong Kong continue unabated,” said Tenzing Dokhar, campaign manager at TYAE, one of the protesters.
By cooperating with China, the IOC is complicit in the crimes of the Chinese Communist Party, which the Beijing Olympics will despise. “
Police began expelling the activists three hours after the protests. Organizers and a Reuters witness described the protest as peaceful, but the International Olympic Committee said one of its security officers was injured.
“The IOC has always taken care of all concerns directly related to the Olympic Games. We have repeatedly contacted peaceful protesters and explained our position, but we will not deal with violent protesters who used force to enter the IOC building and injured a security guard,” the IOC said in a statement.
The organization has previously stated that it is a force for good and cannot have any influence on sovereign nations.
Chinese authorities have been accused of facilitating forced labor by detaining nearly one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in camps since 2016.
China denies any wrongdoing, saying it has set up vocational training centers to combat extremism.