Three demonstrators carrying a Tibetan flag and a “No genocide match” poster attempted to disrupt the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics flame lighting ceremony on Monday, Oct. 18.
The protesters demanded that the match be boycotted. They tried to break into the ceremonial area of the Temple of Hera in Greece, the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, but they were arrested.
“How can Bebing be allowed to host the Olympics when they are committing genocide against the Uyghurs?” said one demonstrator. He was referring to China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
China denies treating Uyghurs arbitrarily.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said in a speech at the Olympia stadium that modern games should be “respected as a politically neutral venue.”
Yu Zaiqing, vice president of Beijing’s organizing committee, said the match would bring “confidence, warmth and hope” to a world still grappling with the pandemic that began in China.
The Beijing Winter Competition will be held on February 4-20. Only Chinese residents are allowed to watch. [vm/jm]