Activists ask NBC to cancel Beijing 2022 broadcast plan
The activists delivered a letter to NBC in Boston, urging the broadcaster to cancel its plan to broadcast the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing on human rights grounds.
The activists have reportedly represented Tibetans, Uighurs, Southern Mongols, Hong Kongers, Taiwanese and Chinese.
The group handed over the letter, which was reportedly signed by 200 advocacy groups, on June 23 to coincide with Olympic Day.
Activists said rights groups and activists in 60 cities marked Global Day of Action # NoBeijing2022, which saw them call on world leaders, National Olympic Committees and Olympic sponsors to boycott the Games in Beijing.
China has been charged with crimes including using Uyghur forced labor, carrying out a mass surveillance program, detaining thousands in internment camps, performing forced sterilizations and destroying intentional Uyghur heritage.
Beijing says the camps are training centers designed to eradicate Islamist extremism and separatism, and denies the charges against it.
The activists’ letter was addressed to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel.
“By continuing the dissemination NBC will legitimize these abuses and promote the “Genocide Games”, “the letter reportedly said.
A statement by activists said they were holding banners saying “Boycott the Beijing Genocide 2022 Games #NoRightsNoGames” and “NBC: Do The Right Thing – # BoycottBeijing2022”, as well as signs with the official NBC logo for Beijing Olympics with the word “Genocide” imprinted next to the logo.
Activists said they were refused entry to the building and asked to leave the area.
A representative of NBC would have listened to a joint statement by the activists.
Two days ago, on Global Day of Action, SFT and a coalition of Tibetan, Uyghur, Hong Kong and Taiwanese activists launched our campaign against NBC. We went to the NBC headquarters in Boston to deliver a letter calling on the company to abandon its broadcast plans. @ Beijing2022. pic.twitter.com/hTSLoEsRA9
– Students for a Free Tibet (@SFTHQ) June 25, 2021
Activists have sought to target the broadcaster, following similar efforts with sponsors of the Games.
In April, more than 200 global campaign groups signed an open letter urging candy bar brand Snickers to “immediately cancel” its sponsorship of Beijing 2022 due to the human rights situation in China.
Mandie McKeown, executive director of the International Tibet Network, signed the letter on behalf of the coalition of campaign groups and requested a meeting with representatives of Mars Wrigley.
A similar campaign was launched against another Airbnb sponsor in January.
Tensions between the United States and China are strained, with U.S. authorities joining the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom in imposing sanctions on China earlier this year in response to alleged rights violations of man in Xinjiang.
China has issued a series of sanctions in response.
The US Senate passed a bill last week confirming plans for a diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022.
The bipartisan bill introduces a series of measures aimed at combating China’s foreign policy and economic influence.
The legislation would prevent U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken from providing federal funds to support or facilitate any U.S. government employee’s participation in the Games.
The bill still needs to be approved by the US House of Representatives before it can be enacted by US President Joe Biden.