In order to preserve their own safety, athletes who will fly to participate in the Beijing Games scheduled for February 4, 2022, were asked during a seminar on Tuesday not to speak out on the issue of human rights. 'Man, once arrived in China, according to Reuters.
“We think there really won't be a lot of protection for athletes there,” said Rob Koehler, chief executive of the Global Athlete group, at the seminar organized by Human Rights Watch.
“So we advise athletes not to talk.
We want them to compete and use their voice when they get home,” he added.
"Chinese laws are very vague about crimes that can be used to restrict people's freedom of expression," said Yaqiu Wang, a member of Human Rights Watch.
“People can be accused of causing quarrels or disturbances.
There are all kinds of lawsuits that can be taken as a result of critical comments,” he insisted.
“I fear for my teammates”
Noah Hoffman, American cross-country skiing champion and who has already participated in the 2014 and 2018 Winter Games, also expressed his concern.
"I'm scared for my teammates going to China," he admitted.
“My hope for the athletes there is that they remain silent because not only will they be prosecuted by the Chinese authorities, but they could also be punished by the IOC.
Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter stipulates that “no form of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is authorized on the Olympic sites”.
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Several human rights groups have criticized the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for awarding the 2022 Winter Games to China, citing in particular the Chinese government's treatment of Uyghurs and other groups. Muslim minorities. While the United States has called the abuses committed against the Uighurs a genocide, China denies any allegations of human rights violations.
In addition, the Canadian research laboratory Citizen Lab identified this Wednesday several security flaws in the Chinese application "My2022" that all participants in the Olympic Games must use to prove that they are not sick with Covid-19, in particular concerning the privacy of the data.
"It's reasonable to wonder if this app's data encryption was intentionally sabotaged for surveillance purposes," said University of Toronto research associate Jeffrey Knockel.