Australia reportedly will not send officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over genocide and other human rights violations being committed by the Chinese Communist party.
“It has already been decided no Australian-based officials or politicians will attend the Beijing Olympics in February next year, and Canberra has refused to sign the Olympic Truce to also send a message to Beijing,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported. “But the government is still considering whether Australia’s ambassador to China, Graham Fletcher, and other embassy staff will attend events and whether to publicly call it a diplomatic boycott.”
Soon afterward, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that Australia would follow the United States in imposing a diplomatic boycott of the games.
“[We are] very happy to talk to the Chinese government about these issues and there’s been no obstacle to that occurring on our side, but the Chinese government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about these issues,” Morrison said. “So it is not surprising, therefore, that Australian government officials would not be going to China for those games. Australian athletes will, though. Australia’s a great sporting nation and I very much separate the issues of sport and these other political issues. They’re issues between two governments.”
Australia’s announcement comes the day after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that the United States would “not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”
She added: “U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these Games as business as usual in the face of the [Communist China’s] egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang. And we simply can’t do that.”
The news comes a week after leaked documents showed the direct link between China’s leaders and the “forced internments, mass sterilisations, forced assimilation, ‘re-education’, and coercion of detained [Uyghur Muslims] to work in factories,’ according to BBC News.
China’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims and other groups has been going on for years.
As Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, China has been conducting a “mass internment campaign, as well as other state policies such as government-mandated homestays, a mass birth-prevention strategy, the forcible transfer of Uyghur children to state-run facilities, the eradication of Uyghur identity, and the selectively targeting of intellectuals and other leader as evidence of intent to destroy the ethnic group.”
China has also been reportedly committing genocide against Christians, imprisoning them in “secretive” facilities and forcing them to renounce their faith.
One Christian who was imprisoned by China said “he was held in a windowless room for nearly 10 months, during which time he was beaten, verbally abused and ‘mentally tortured’ by staff, eventually resorting to self-harm by throwing himself against a wall.”
“One time in there, I was groggy and was trying to open my eyes but I couldn’t,” the victim told Radio Free Asia. “Four or five of them grabbed me by the arms and legs and pinned me to the ground. They injected me with some drug, and brought me back to consciousness.”
“State security police and religious affairs bureau officials frequently raid unofficial ‘house churches’ that aren’t members of the [China]-backed Three-Self Patriotic Association, although member churches have also been targeted at times,” RFA reported, adding that China “under Xi Jinping regards Christianity as a dangerous foreign import, with party documents warning against the ‘infiltration of Western hostile forces’ in the form of religion.”
A research report of eight ethnic Uyghurs who had managed to survive China’s concentration camps found the following:
“All participants described extreme physical and psychological violence within detention settings, including deaths. The constant threat or presence of extreme violence and torture was discussed by all participants. Violence was used to extract forced confessions, to punish detainees for infractions or mistakes, and as a method of terror and control. Three participants said they had witnessed the death or fatal deterioration of fellow detainees. All participants detained in political re-education camps said they had heard of fellow detainees who had died as a result of violence or maltreatment during their confinement.”
As Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide explains, genocide can be defined as an act committed with “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a religious group” including “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.”
The United Nations states that acts constituting genocide include the “forced or coerced use of drugs.”
The United Nations also lists “ethnic cleansing” as a form of genocide, which the United Nations Security Council Resolution 780 says includes “arbitrary arrest and confinement.”