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Ahead of Beijing Olympics, Suozzi draws attention to China’s humanitarian crisis

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y.
John Minchillo
Associated Press
U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y.

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) is calling for the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to take a stand against the Chinese Communist Party before the start of the Winter Games in Beijing.

Suozzi wants the IOC to address the party’s alleged crimes against racial and ethnic groups in China, including Tibetan, Mongolian and Uyghur.

“Right now, we know that there are human rights violations,” Suozzi said. “They include forced assimilation, forced sterilization, false imprisonment and the suppression of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Religion.”

Tash Lamsang, president of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress for New York and New Jersey, joined Suozzi over the weekend in the call for the IOC to clarify where they stand on those issues.

“The Chinese government is solely to be blamed for the reason why Tibet is completely shut off from the whole world,” Lamsang said. “The government's systematic human rights abuses, use of brutal force, suppression of human rights defenders, activists, peaceful protestors, writers and journalists clearly indicate that they do not respect human rights.”

The Long Island congressman wrote a letter to the IOC asking them to insist that athletes, coaches and support staff should not face retaliation while exercising their rights in China, and encourage corporate sponsors to disclose whether any uniforms for the games were manufactured using forced labor.

“We cannot stop until the whole world is aware of the way that the Chinese Communist Party is treating its own people,” Suozzi added.”

The United States is one of 10 countries taking part in a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics in Beijing. That means the Biden administration will avoid the games, which begin on Thursday in China’s capital city and continue through February 20.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.