Just days before the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) projected anti-Chinese Communist Party images on the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC, NBC studios in the 30 Rockefeller Plaza building in New York City, Nike’s flagship store in NYC, and London’s Tower Bridge.
According to a CFHK press release, the images included references to imprisoned pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai, messages calling for freedom in Hong Kong, and the Olympic rings made of barbed wire.
The group wrote that the images and slogans “highlighted the hypocrisy of China hosting the Winter Olympic Games, which are supposed to promote unity, equality and respect.”
“Meanwhile, the Chinese Government is currently committing crimes against humanity and genocide in the region of Xinjiang, enforcing harsh crackdowns on human rights defenders and people perceived to be dissidents in Hong Kong, as well as the systematic repression of ethnic minorities,” the group said in a statement. “The international community must not endorse China’s sportswashing.”
This year’s Winter Olympics are marred by the Chinese Communist Party’s systematic suppression of minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Grim reports from witnesses to the abuse have revealed killings, torture, rape, enslavement, forced separation of children from their parents, forced sterilization and abortion, enforced disappearances, and destruction of cultural and religious heritage.
The credible reports prompted several nations to institute diplomatic boycotts of the games, including the United States, Denmark, The Netherlands, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain and Canada.
“As a Committee we will not stop campaigning for Hong Kong and for the international community to stand up to China. We must show them that their behavior is seen and will not be tolerated. Sportswashing has become a tool used to distract onlookers from reputations of the foulest and most abhorrent attacks upon humanity, and China has become the latest to use such tool,” said President of the CFHK, Mark L. Clifford in a statement.
Clifford slammed the International Olympic Committee for “remaining silent on the ongoing human rights abuses that the Chinese Communist Party is committing both at home and abroad.”
“Just as the International Olympic Committee has failed to stand up to China for their behavior, so have the international sponsors of the Games. Household names such as Coca-Cola, AirBnb, Samsung, and Visa who follow their own ESG values and have run equality campaigns are sponsoring what many have labeled as the Genocide Games,” Clifford said. “As the Beijing Winter Olympics start on Friday, the world will be watching China and its actions both during and after.”