China: A gold medal for repression

New ITUC research shows the actions of the Chinese Communist Party have made Beijing unsafe for athletes and others involved in the 2022 Winter Olympics, 4 – 20 February 2022.

China: A gold medal for repression” details five repressive policies of the ruling party that make China and the world less safe:

  • repression and imprisonment in Hong Kong;
  • intimidation of LGBT+ people;
  • violations of fundamental rights at work, in supply chains and in society;
  • repression and exploitation of ethnic minorities; and
  • silence and obstruction over the spread of COVID-19.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “The sports of the Olympics have rules, but the Chinese Communist Party has shown that it has little or no respect for international laws and standards and is becoming increasingly repressive.

“Just look at Hong Kong. In full view of the world, they have crushed any person or group that attempts to exercise the most basic rights and freedoms. If they handed out medals for repression, the Chinese Communist Party would get a gold every time.”

Ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the ITUC is demanding that

  • the International Olympic Committee (IOC) guarantee the security and safety of athletes and all others who are attending the Games;
  • governments guarantee the safety of athletes and others from their countries traveling to the Games;
  • international Olympic sponsors, including Airbnb, Allianz, AtoS, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, Intel, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung, Toyota and Visa, review their association with the Beijing Winter Olympics in light of the repressive policies of China’s ruling party; and
  • the ruling party end its policies of repression and allow fundamental rights and freedoms under international rules.

Along with the human rights concerns, independent and expert assessment of the number of Covid-19 infections at the Tokyo Olympics, where there were important gaps in prevention protocols, gives rise to serious concerns about the Beijing event, in particular given the suppression of vital information by the Chinese authorities.

“How can the IOC and its partners be sure that the Winter Olympics will not contribute to oppression and human rights violations and that athletes, their teams, journalists and others attending them are protected in a country ruled by this Party?

“Having chosen Beijing, they can’t be sure, but they can do a lot to curb the risks and ensure safety. The IOC needs to stand up and do its job, along with its business partners and governments, and guarantee the safety of everyone involved in the Games. The five Olympic rings the IOC and millions of athletes and supporters around the world are so proud of are being tarnished by the policies of the Chinese Communist Party. In Beijing, the Olympic symbol represents five rings of repression curtailing rights and freedoms,” said Sharan Burrow.