Reuters, LAUSANNE, Switzerland
Two Tibetan students chained themselves to the Olympic rings on Saturday in front of the Swiss headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to call for an international boycott of the Winter Games.
The couple were part of the latest protest against the Beijing Olympics against China’s human rights abuses and its treatment of minorities.
Members of the Association of Tibetan Youth in Europe (TYAE) and Students for a Free Tibet held a sit-in at the IOC building in Lausanne, as officials gathered for a meeting.
Protesters demanded that countries pull out of the event they called the “Genocide Games,” which they said are being used to boost China’s reputation.
Two protesters unfurled a banner at the entrance to the building that read “No Beijing 2022”, while five students entered the building and staged a sit-in protest.
“Despite growing international criticism of the IOC and China, the Chinese regime’s human rights violations in Tibet, East Turkestan [Xinjiang] and Hong Kong continue unabated, ”said TYAE campaign manager Tenzing Dhokhar.
“By collaborating with China, the IOC is complicit in the crimes of the Chinese Communist Party, which will be scorned by the Beijing Olympics,” he added.
Police began to expel the activists after three hours of protests.
Organizers and a Reuters eyewitness called the protest peaceful, but the IOC said one of its security officers was injured.
“The IOC is always attentive to all concerns directly related to the Olympic Games. We engaged several times with peaceful protesters and explained our position, but we will not engage with violent protesters who used force to enter the IOC building and injured a security guard in doing so, ”he said. the IOC said in a statement.
The organization has previously stated that it is a force for good and that it cannot have any influence over sovereign states.
Chinese authorities have been accused of facilitating forced labor by detaining around 1 million Uyghurs in camps since 2016.
China denies any wrongdoing.
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