Michael Polak Lodges Written Submissions on behalf of World Uyghur Congress to International Olympic Committee’s Ethical Commission Concerning Beijing 2022

Michael Polak
Michael Polak August 17, 2020

The World Uyghur Congress has instructed Church Court Chambers’ international human rights barrister Michael Polak who also leads Lawyers for Uyghur Rights to draft a formal written complaint which has been submitted to the International Olympic Committee’s Ethics Commission through the Ethics and Compliance Office.

This Complaint, to which the IOC’s Ethics Commission must respond, stated that IOC, its Executive Board, and IOC President Thomas Bach have acted in breach of the Olympic Charter by failing to reconsider holding the 2022 Olympics in Beijing following verifiable evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity taking place against the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims by the People’s Republic of China.  

Evidence submitted along with the Complaint from numerous sources proves that a number of crimes against humanity are taking place such as mass sterilization, arbitrary detention in internment camps, torture, repressive security and surveillance, and forced labour and slavery.

Annexed to the complaint was also a recent report which concluded that the Chinese authorities actions in the Uyghur Region is likely to amount to genocide.

The submissions provide that not only will holding the Olympic in Beijing be seen as support for the extreme repression suffered by the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims but that given the opaque nature of the supply chains in China, especially in regards to textiles and technology, it is likely that the IOC will be directly involved in the international crimes committed against the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim people. This is because the widely documented forced transport and use of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims as slave labour means that it will be impossible for the IOC to ensure that the technology used in Olympic competitions and the hosting of the Games and the textiles used for Olympic merchandise are not tainted by the immense pain of those transported thousands of miles across China to be forced to work in factories because of their religion and race.

Michael Polak stated:

‘I am pleased to have been instructed by Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress to draft this important Complaint.

The IOC, its Executive Board, and its President Thomas Bach are all required to abide by the ethical principles of the Olympic Movement, the Olympic Charter, and the Olympic ideal inspired by Pierre de Coubertin.

It is clear that holding the 2022 Olympics in Beijing whilst China carries out genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim people flies in the face of those principles and is contrary to those parties’ obligation under Article 2 of the Code of Conduct not to ‘act in a manner likely to tarnish the reputation of the Olympic Movement.

We hope that the Ethics Commission will engage with the issues we have put before them and call for the 2022 Olympic to be moved if international crimes continue to be carried out against the Uyghurs. We look forward to the opportunity of calling evidence from first-hand witnesses who have fled the horrors of the camps and systematic repression so the Ethics Commission and Olympic Movement cannot say that they were unaware of what was taking place in the Uyghur Region and across China with the forced movement of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims for use as slave labour.’ 

World Uyghur Congress President Dolkun Isa stated:

‘The IOC can no longer claim ignorance of China’s genocide against the Uyghur people. If the IOC allows China to host the 2022 Winter Games, it is wilfully and intentionally abandoning the values and principles that underpin the Olympic Movement.

These detailed submissions explain the evidence of the international crimes being committed against my people, the Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, and other Turkic Muslim people and how this clearly conflicts with the ethical principles with which the Olympic family is supposed to comply. Further, it is likely that the technology and merchandising used for the Olympic will be tainted by the well reported forced transportation and slave labour against us.

If the International Olympic Committee allows the Chinese government to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, it will go down as a historically shameful decision.’

Multiple press sources including the New York Times have reported on Michael’s work https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/08/14/sports/olympics/14reuters-olympics-china-uighurs.html?searchResultPosition=5

Michael Polak is available to be instructed for international law and human rights matters by contacting the clerks room on +44 20 7936 3637 or by clerks@timm283.sg-host.com 

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