Belgian civil society groups call for EU diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

Belgian civil society groups call for EU diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics: major series of events planned in Brussels and Antwerp, Jan 3-4.

With just five weeks to go until the 2022 Winter Olympics kick off in Beijing, the EU has yet to make a decision on whether or not to allow diplomats and officials to attend the controversial games. This is despite EU member states including Belgium announcing a boycott, and the European Parliament voting in favour.

This is against the background of China’s appalling human rights record.

On January 3rd-4th various Belgian civil society groups, including human rights activists and members of the Tibetan and Uyghur communities, will take to the streets to demand the EU take action and boycott the games.

Manel Masalmi, President of the European Association for The Defense of Minorities, said: “Human rights and women’s rights organisations cannot ignore the suffering of the Chinese minorities including the Uyghurs who are victims of forced labour, sexual abuse and torture. Boycotting Beijing 2022 will send a message to the Chinese government that human rights matter.

“It will send a message of solidarity towards all the innocent victims of ethnic cleansing, imprisoned against their will in so-called ‘re-education’ camps. Witnessing these human rights violations in the 21st century is a disgrace to humanity.“

Andy Vermaut, President of Human Rights NGO Post Versa, said: “Participation in the Olympics is an endorsement of the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian leadership… all government officials should set a positive example by refusing to engage.”

The debate #BoycottBeijing2022 will take place at the Press Club, Brussels, 11:00 - 13.00 (CET).

The debate will be opened by Peter van Dalen MEP, and Benedict Rogers of Hong Kong Watch, and will be live-streamed at:

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

In October 2021 POLITICO described Gary as "the busiest man in Brussels!"

He is a of member the Chartered Institute of Journalists, a professional association for journalists, the senior such body in the UK, and the oldest in the world having been founded in October 1884

Gary's most recent book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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