Human Rights Violations in China Victims of Communism

Say No to the Genocide Olympics; Show Up at Campaigns for Uyghurs

It was raining heavily outside. I was hesitant as to whether to go to the DC rally that was organized by the Victims of Communism and other organizations to boycott the coming Beijing Olympics and call out the genocide in Xinjiang and the persecution of Hongkongers and political dissidents in China. The bad weather seemed a good excuse for not going, but the sound of raindrops reminded me of the crying tears of the exiled Uyghurs frantically looking for their missing families and friends in China.

One day before the opening of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, outside the Capitol, a group of human rights activists held a rally called #NoBeijing2022. A speaker from the Campaign for Uyghurs said that by allowing the Olympic Games to take place in China, those organizations, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other entities sponsoring the Beijing Winter Olympics, have erased the suffering and pain of millions of people who are and have been persecuted in China. On the same day, at a hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the IOC “turns a blind eye” to Beijing’s rights violations, and the United States has a moral duty to condemn China’s rights abuses.

We, the Chinese enjoying precious freedoms in the United States, certainly have a moral duty to condemn the Chinese government for its violation of human rights. The rally was timely and meaningful in terms of saving Uyghurs from genocide and giving voice to millions of people who are silenced by the Chinese government because of their religious and/or political views. However, although more than 100,000 Chinese live in the DC metro area, only fewer than a hundred showed up at the #NoBeijing2022 rally.

Was the “low turnout” caused by the weather? Or are we, the people living in the free world, afraid of angering the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), just as Pelosi urged U.S. athletes not to risk angering the “ruthless” Chinese government at the same Congressional hearing?

It is not a secret that Uyghur men have been jailed in reeducation camps, Uyghur women have been forced to marry Han Chinese or to sterilize, and Uyghur children have been taken away from their parents, brainwashed, and forced to give up their own languages. In stark contrast, a group of Chinese nationals living in the United States – the George Washington University Chinese Students and Scholars Association (GWUCSSA) – abused the freedoms that this great country affords them, and launched a witch hunt to attack some students who used creative art to inform the world of the genocide in China.

The good news is that the President of GWU swiftly recognized the political propaganda of that Chinese group and expressed his support for freedom of speech. He stated that the posters designed by a Chinese-Australian artist, Badiucao, were a critique of China’s policies.” He did not view the posters as racist, an accusation leveled by the GWUCSSA. Instead, he affirmed that the posters were political statements, and the university would not take any action against the students who displayed them.

While displaying posters is a powerful tool to increase public awareness of what is happening to the Uyghur people, we need more and stronger international movements urgently. The UN Court in The Hague spent 26 years to investigate and prosecute former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic for committing genocide in Srebrenica. This ruling came almost three decades after more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred.  “Uyghurs cannot wait 26 years for justice to be served when the systematic erasure of their culture and population is imminent,” said the Students for Uyghurs Exeter, a group of human rights activists.

According to a recent report, despite the UN promise in 1948 that “never again” would people experience the horrors of genocide, a systematic extermination of millions of Uyghur people is currently taking place. Never again, is increasingly becoming “yet again”. To repeat what happened in Bosnia will be a huge human tragedy.

Anyone who loves freedom and justice should not be indifferent to the genocide in China.  A single individual like me showing up at campaigns for Uyghurs may not be significant, but if hundreds, or better yet thousands showed up, it would broadcast a powerful message. My single voice to say No to the genocide Olympic Games in China may be weak, but thousands of voices speaking out for the Uyghurs and other oppressed people on social media and at every possible occasion would be loud and strong.

On June 4, 2019, Pelosi tweeted, “28 years ago, we traveled to Tiananmen Square to honor the courage and sacrifice of the students, workers and ordinary citizens who stood for the dignity and human rights that all people deserve.” Today, we should act in the same way. Like Enes Freedom, an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics, we all should care about human rights, freedom, and being the voice for the voiceless.

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