MEDIA RELEASE: 31 July 2015

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In response to the International Olympic Committee’s decision to award the 2022 Olympic Games to China, the International Tibet Network said:

“The IOC has sent the wrong message to the wrong people at the wrong time. China wants the world to ignore its deteriorating human rights and be impressed by Chinese can-do pragmatism instead. That’s exactly what the IOC has done. Whatever the IOC wants or says, the message heard loud and clear in Beijing is that human rights and Tibet don’t matter. The honour of a second Olympic Games is a propaganda gift to China when what it needs is a slap in the face.
“Many people will remember how Tibet campaigners made our presence felt in the run-up to 2008. We hope that positive change in Tibet in the next seven years will mean that we don’t have to use the Olympics to highlight Tibet’s cause again – but in giving this honour to this regime at this time, the IOC has set back hopes of progress for Tibetans and everyone under Beijing’s rule. It’s a tragic misjudgement.” 

In response to the decision, a protest is taking place at International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne today [1]. Campaigners, including former political prisoner Golog Jigme, who had sent a personal appeal to IOC members to reject the bid, are outside the building carrying banners saying “Stop Beijing 2022” and “No more bloody Games”.

Golog Jigme said: “I hope my fellow Tibetans in Tibet do not pay a price in 2022 like the one I and others paid for the Olympic Games in 2008. I am deeply sorry that the IOC has rejected pleas from Tibetan, Chinese and so many other human rights defenders to keep the Games from Beijing. They must now accept responsibility for that decision and that includes withdrawing the honour of the Games from China if it continues its repression in Tibet.”


Contacts for comment, further information and photographs:

London, UK (GMT + 1hr):
Alistair Currie, Free Tibet
T: +44 (0)207 324 4605)

Dharamsala, India, (GMT + 5.30hrs):
Tenzin Jigdal, International Tibet Network
T: +988 225 5516

Notes for editors
[1] A Reuters TV crew is accompanying the campaigners. Photographs from the demonstration will be available from Free Tibet. Contact Alistair Currie (above).