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European broadcasters urged to pull out of Beijing Olympics

Letter warns the broadcasters are at risk of “being complicit” in the “worsening human rights abuses” in China

An open letter has been to some of the world’s biggest broadcasters urging them to cancel plans to cover next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The letter has been sent to broadcasters including the BBC, Discovery, RTVE, Sky, France Télévisions, ARD and NBC urging them to “immediately cancel your broadcasting deals”.

It has been sent by rights groups representing minorities in China, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kong residents and others. The letter warns the broadcasters are at risk of “being complicit” in the “worsening human rights abuses” in China.

“All of your companies are at serious risk of being complicit in China’s plan to ‘sport wash’ the severe and worsening human rights abuses and embolden the actions of the Chinese authorities,” the letter adds. “By broadcasting Beijing 2022 your companies will legitimise these abuses and promote what is being widely described as the ‘Genocide Games’.”

Lhadon Tethong, co-chair of the International Tibet Network, said the BBC, ARD and Canadian broadcaster CBC, which all receive public money, should not move forward with any broadcast plans.

“It is unconscionable that NBC, CBC and other broadcasters plan to help Chinese leaders project a rosy image of an ‘Olympic Games as usual’ while they are carrying out genocide against the Uyghurs, and engaging in a massive campaign of repression against Tibetans and so many others,” she told Associated Press.

The letter is available to read here.