About twenty federal deputies, from all political parties, urge the International Olympic Committee not to organize the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, as planned.
In an open letter entitled “The Games of Shame”, the elected officials protest against the fate of the Uyghur minority in China and want the games to be held elsewhere in the world, if the situation does not change.
“As you read these lines, nearly two million Uyghurs and Turkish Muslims are imprisoned in concentration camps that the Chinese authorities hate to call ‘vocational training camps’”, we can read in the letter sent on Saturday morning.
The letter is an initiative of Bloc Québécois MP Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, joined by elected Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats and the Green Party, but also public figures, such as former Olympic champion Jean-Luc Brassard.
The joint declaration was also signed by elected officials from the four political parties present in the National Assembly.
“Some would say that we should not mix politics and sport. To that, we answer that when we are confronted with genocide, we are no longer talking about politics here, but rather about human rights and crimes against humanity. It is impossible for us to accept the status quo which prevails for the moment ”, they underlined.
Earlier this week, the director of sport at the Canadian Olympic Committee clearly rejected out of hand calls to boycott or move the Games, which have been heard for several months already, and not just because of the Uyghur issue. .
“By going to Beijing, we have a better chance of promoting Canadian values and fostering change. By competing at the Olympics in 2022, our chances will be better of being in the conversation to foster eventual changes. Sport can serve as a bridge to bring people together “, had defended Eric Myles, in an interview with” Journal de Quebec “Thursday.
China is set to host the Olympics for the second time in its history next year. Already in 2008, several voices were raised to implore Western countries to ignore the Beijing Summer Games, without success.
The occupation of Tibet was at the heart of the debates at the time. Today, they cite instead the imprisonment of two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the crackdown on protests in Hong Kong and human rights violations in Xinjiang.
In this autonomous region in northern China, the Uyghur Muslim minority is being persecuted, many organizations have denounced in recent years.
“Women are forcibly sterilized, adults and children are kidnapped, artificial intelligence software tracks, through surveillance cameras, Uyghurs all around the globe”, adds in the letter. Saturday, where elected officials do not hesitate to compare the Beijing Games in 2022 to those in Berlin, organized in 1936 in the middle of Nazi Germany.