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Coalitions of Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hong Kongers call for boycott of Beijing Olympics

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A group of coalitions representing Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hongkongers issued a statement Monday, demanding that National Olympic Committees, Olympic athletes and sponsors boycott the upcoming Beijing Olympics. They’re calling for the boycott because “participating in the Beijing Olympic Games at this time would be tantamount to endorsing China’s genocide against the Uyghur people, and legitimizing the increasingly repressive policies of the totalitarian Chinese regime.”

Among the sponsors of the statement are World Uyghur Congress, Campaign for Uyghurs, Students for a Free Tibet, Tibet Action Institute, We The Hongkongers, Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, China Against the Death Penalty, and Keep Taiwan Free.

In the statement, the coalitions pointed out that the U.S. State Department has already recognized the situation with Uyghurs in China as a genocide. Secretary Pompeo made the announcement in January.

Besides genocide, the statement also claimed the People’s Republic of China has “illegally occupied Tibet,” “implemented a draconian National Security Bill that effectively criminalizes protest” in Hong Kong, “put down with force” protests by Southern Mongolians and engaged in “geopolitical bullying of Taiwan.”

Previously, the International Olympic Committee claimed that by hosting the Olympics in 2008, the situation in China would get better. Senior IOC member Richard Pound claimed in 2004 the decision “was made in the hope of improvement in human rights and, indeed, the Chinese themselves said that having the games would accelerate progress in such matters.” But, over 15 years later, the U.S. still determined genocides were happening there.

AP News interviewed Tibetan Action Institute’s Lhadon Tethong, who was deported from China in 2007 for her activism. “The situation where we are now is demonstrably worse that it was then,” Tethong said in the interview. “If the games go ahead, then Beijing gets the international seal of approval for what they are doing.”

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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Daily Wire investigation: Italian company may have illegally sold rights to the Vatican’s priceless art

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The Daily Wire has been conducting a fascinating investigation into the Vatican Museum’s priceless artwork. “Rights to the Vatican Museums’ priceless trove of art treasures may have been illegally sold without the Holy See’s approval in what one attorney described as a “high-tech heist,” the investigation finds.

An Italian company is allegedly selling the rights to reproduce the Vatican artwork in six-figure deals, while claiming to be working in “collaboration with” the Vatican Museums.

“This scheme is nothing less than a pre-meditated, high-tech heist of world-class treasured art from the Vatican Museums under the disguise of bogus licenses, as if sanctioned by the Vatican,” Sarah Rose Speno, a New York attorney, told The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire’s report notes that Speno said she stumbled upon the alleged scheme in March when she sought permission to use images of Vatican art for an exhibition by a client.

“We discovered that a large table book had been published with high-resolution images of the interiors of the Vatican, including the Sistine Chapel,” Speno said. “We very much wanted to pursue an opportunity to license these images, as soon as possible.”

Speno contacted Scripta Maneant — the Italian publisher that licensed the photos in the book. Scripta Maneant claimed authority to broker the publishing rights via its “collaboration” with Vatican Museums vice director, Monsignore Paolo Nicolini. Scripta Maneant wanted $550,000 for the rights — with a portion being paid to the Vatican through Nicolini, according to Speno. Although Scripta Maneant claimed the fee would be shared with the Vatican, Speno said she later became suspicious.

“The Scripta Maneant scheme became obvious when the Scripta principals demanded a cash wire in the amount of $82,500 no later than their return from summer holiday in late August,” Speno said. “They said that they would produce Vatican approval for our Italian Renaissance Immersive project ‘if and only if’ the fee were wired to the Scripta bank account they provided. It was at this point that grave suspicion entered my mind.”

Ultimately, Speno said, “we terminated the deal when Scripta could not provide us with documented consent by the Vatican.”

Continue Reading: Daily Wire

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