Broadcasters urged to cancel plans to cover the Beijing Olympics


Tokyo — Some of the world’s largest broadcasters, including the US network NBC, have been asked by human rights groups to cancel plans to cover the Beijing Winter Olympics next year. The Winter Olympics are scheduled to begin on February 4th.

This request comes in an open letter from rights groups representing Chinese minorities, such as Uighurs, Tibetans, and residents of Hong Kong.

The letter received by the Associated Press was sent Tuesday to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and other international broadcast executives. NBC has paid $ 7.75 billion for the following six Olympic rights and is working closely as a partner of the Swiss-based International Olympic Committee.

These payments are estimated to account for up to 40 percent of the IOC’s total revenue. The letter states that broadcasters are at risk of “committing” to China’s “exacerbation of human rights abuses.”

The letter arrived a few days after the late Summer Olympics and Paralympics closed in Tokyo, focusing on the IOC and its Beijing choices.

The IOC has repeatedly stated that it is nothing more than a sports organization, and its president Thomas Bach refused to mention or condemn the treatment of Uighurs and other minorities in China. The IOC also faces some athletes who talk about boycott demands, pressure on some of the 15 top sponsors, and the difficult situations they are facing.

Vice President of Intel Corporation, a major IOC sponsor, said he agreed with the assessment that the genocide was taking place.

“All your companies are at serious risk of” sports-washing “severe and worsening human rights abuses and participating in China’s plan to bold the actions of Chinese authorities,” an open letter. Says. “By broadcasting Beijing 2022, your company will justify these abuses and promote what is widely described as a’genocide game’. “

China’s Foreign Ministry has repeatedly criticized what is called “politicalization of sports,” stating that the Olympic boycott is “destined to fail.” He also denied the genocide against Uighurs and described the charges as “a lie of the century.”

The Beijing Olympics are likely to be held with few fans, and the media may be separated from athletes who have little chance of free movement. The rationale is an ongoing pandemic.

The IOC has rejected some recent calls to move the Olympics from Beijing. China has been accused by some foreign governments and researchers of imposing forced labor, systematic forced contraception and torture on Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group in the western Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

Radon Teton, co-chair of the International Tibet Network, said Canadian broadcasters CBC, the BBC in the UK and ARD in Germany have all received public funding but should not proceed with their broadcast plans. She urged the people of those countries to speak.

“NBC, CBC and other broadcasters are rosy in the’Olympic Games’ as usual, while Chinese leaders carry out slaughter against Uighurs and engage in a large-scale campaign of oppression against Tibetans. It is not conscientious to plan to help project the image of. There are many others, “Tethong wrote in the Associated Press.

The IOC included human rights requirements in the host city contract for the 2024 Olympic Games a few years ago, but did not include Beijing guidelines (United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights).

Paris is the first Olympic Games to include standards that have long been promoted by human rights groups.

Beijing was selected by the IOC at the 2022 Winter Olympics and was decided in 2015 after European bids such as Oslo and Stockholm were withdrawn for financial or political reasons. The IOC had only two candidates left, Beijing and Almaty in Kazakhstan. IOC members chose Beijing with 44-40 votes.

Beijing also hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, which promised to improve the human rights situation in the country.

“In this letter, we are paying attention to the network,” Teton said. “If they broadcast the 2022 Beijing Olympics, they will collude.”

Associated Press