(New York) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in choosing China to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, faces massive challenges in fulfilling its expressed commitment to human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Beijing’s selection was announced on July 31, 2015, at the 128th IOC Congress in Kuala Lumpur. The only other contender – Kazakhstan – also has a dismal rights record.
“The Olympic motto of ‘higher, faster, and stronger’ is a perfect description of the Chinese government’s assault on civil society: more peaceful activists detained in record time, subject to far harsher treatment,” said Sophie Richardson, China director. “In choosing China to host another Games, the IOC has tripped on a major human rights hurdle.”
- Immediately begin consultations with independent civil society organizations and activists from China to address their concerns about China’s hosting the 2022 Games;
- Establish effective and independent monitoring mechanisms to track and report on regression on labor rights, press freedom, discrimination, and all areas where “assurances” were received, and commit to publicly speak out on and help ensure redress for these rights violations when they occur; and
- Publicly make clear that significant Olympics-related human rights violations will result in the ultimate sanction of relocating the 2022 Games.
“The IOC’s awarding of the 2022 Olympics to China is a slap in the face to China’s besieged human rights activists,” Richardson said. “Over the next seven years, the IOC has enormous work to do in China to win the credibility on human rights that will ensure a successful Olympics.”