In Solidarity with Tibetans and Uighurs, Czech Senate Calls for a Diplomatic Boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing

Senate adopts Resolution urging the Government of the Czech Republic not to legitimize the suppression of human rights and freedoms by the People’s Republic of China.

Calling on the Czech government to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, arguing that failing to do so would legitimize the suppression of
human rights and freedoms by the People’s Republic of China. In the adopted Resolution, senators expressed concern about the Chinese oppression of Tibetans and Uighurs and urged the Czech government to actively advocate for a thorough review of China’s compliance with international human rights obligations.

“China continues to violate international human rights conventions, and reports of constant repression of the Uighurs or a hermetically sealed Tibet are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Senator Pavel Fischer, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Security, and chief sponsor of the Resolution. “Care must be taken to ensure that China does not politically abuse the Olympics to legitimize further discrimination, violence, and the suppression of fundamental rights.”

Sen. Fischer added: “In connection with the Beijing Olympics, the international community should step up pressure [on China] to respect human rights,” which is a fundamental principle of the Olympic Charter.

Lobsang Sangay

Senator Přemysl Rabas, Chairman of the Senate Group of Friends of Tibet, said: “Former Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, has long warned that the Winter Olympics in China, like the Summer Games in 2008, will be associated with a significant tightening of freedoms and targeted human rights violations. I believe that a similar stand as the Czech Senate will be taken by other democratic institutions all over the world. As I recently assured the new Tibetan Prime Minister, Penpa Tsering, Tibetans will always have allies in the Czech Republic, and this Resolution is a demonstration of that commitment.”

Former Member of Parliament Katerina Bursik Jacques, Secretary of the Senate Group of Friends of Tibet, said: “It has been more than a decade since the Czech Parliament adopted a Resolution supporting Tibet; the last one passed in the Chamber of Deputies in 2008, and it’s been 23 years for similar action from the Senate. In other words, today’s firm support for the people of Tibet and Xinjiang was long overdue. The Czech Republic maintains a strong sense of solidarity with those whose freedoms are restricted, not just in China, but everywhere in the world. Protecting human rights is a priority for many Czechs, who remember only too well our own experience with totalitarianism.”