10 June 2015:

Lausanne: Activists of the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe (TYAE) protested at the Lausanne Palace Hotel, where representatives of the Chinese Government and Beijing Olympic Committee were presenting their case for Beijing to be awarded the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Tibetan torture victim Golog Jigme from 2008 calls on IOC to reject China’s bid.

The campaigners enrolled a banner with five bullet holes replacing the Olympic rings and re-enacted a scene in which a Chinese police man beats a Tibetan protester who holds the Tibetan national flag in her hands. Inside the building protesters disrupted the event shouting the slogans “No more Bloody Games” and “ Stop Beijing 2022”.

When Beijing was awarded the 2008 Summer Olympics, IOC members claimed that the Games would help to improve human rights in Tibet and China. Among the protestors today is Golog Jigme who learnt the hard way that this promise was betrayed. The Tibetan monk was jailed and tortured by Chinese authorities in 2008 after he filmed “Leaving Fear Behind” (see Vimeo/Youtube). In this documentary film ordinary Tibetans express their views on Chinese policies and the 2008 Games.

“I stand here today as a witness of Chinese repression in Tibet. But this is not only about me. Many Tibetan human rights defenders and protesters were jailed and killed in 2008,” says Golog Jigme who has been living in Switzerland since January. Furthermore, he addresses the IOC President Thomas Bach: “If the Olympic Games 2022 should be awarded to China again you will be co-responsible for such atrocities. If you cannot support us, don’t treat us like toys for the sake of flattering the Chinese Communist Party. We the Tibetan people are also citizens of this world and our dignity and rights must be respected.”

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong of the State Council has been part of Beijing’s delegation in Lausanne. As a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party, her presence is a strong indication of the high political importance China places on winning the games.

Palmo Brunner, protestor and Vice-President of the TYAE, said: “Here in Switzerland we can express our views freely, something that is sadly not possible for our brothers and sisters inside Tibet due to Chinese oppression. Today Liu Yandong has no other choice than to face our protest and views here in a free country. We, the young Tibetans in Switzerland, will not sit by and quietly watch China being rewarded again for its repression in Tibet!”

In March, Tibet campaigners sent a report to the IOC and IOC members, outlining how the 2008 Beijing Olympics not only failed to lead to any improvement in human rights in China and Tibet but also emboldened China to increase its repressive crackdown.

Contact: (Please contact us for videos and photos)

Ms. Palmo Brunner (German/English)
E: palmo_brunner@hotmail.com
T: +41 78 811 84 47

Migmar Dhakyel (French/Tibetan)
E: m.dhakyel@gmail.com
T: +41 76 588 65 06

For information about the global Olympic campaign contact Mandie McKeown, campaigns@tibetnetwork.org, +44 7748 158 618