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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The Tate Brothers and Associates Face Human Trafficking Charges in Romania
In a recent development, the Tate brothers, Andrew and Tristan, along with two associates, find themselves at the center of a high-profile case involving human trafficking allegations.
The charges leveled against them indicate the formation of an organized criminal group in 2021 with the intent to carry out human trafficking operations not only in Romania but also in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
The investigation, which led to their arrest in December last year, has culminated in an indictment filed with the Bucharest court. According to the indictment, the Tate brothers are accused of luring their victims with false promises of love and marriage. Seven individuals have been identified as alleged victims, who were later coerced and subjected to a harrowing ordeal.
Prosecutors contend that the victims were taken to locations in Ilfov county, Romania, where they faced constant surveillance, intimidation, and control. The defendants allegedly forced the victims into debt and coerced them into participating in pornographic activities, with the explicit material subsequently shared on social media platforms. Shockingly, one of the defendants is accused of raping a woman on two occasions in March 2022, further amplifying the gravity of the charges.
While the trial is not expected to commence immediately, as a Romanian judge is granted 60 days to inspect the case files, it is anticipated to be a protracted legal battle. The complexity of the case and the severity of the charges will undoubtedly result in a lengthy trial process, with several years potentially passing before a verdict is reached.
Representatives for the Tate brothers released a statement acknowledging the unsurprising nature of the news but maintaining their belief in their innocence.
As reported by the BBC, the Tate brothers media team stared, “While this news is undoubtedly predictable, we embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.”
They expressed their eagerness to present a comprehensive body of evidence meticulously collected over time, which they believe will substantiate their claims of innocence and restore their tarnished reputation.
However, it should be noted that additional charges, such as money laundering and trafficking of minors, are still under investigation. If evidence is uncovered to support these allegations, a separate indictment could be filed, further complicating the legal proceedings for the defendants.
Andrew Tate, who gained notoriety through his participation in the reality television show Big Brother, has a controversial past, having been removed from the show in 2016 following a video that appeared to depict him assaulting a woman.
Despite subsequent bans on social media platforms due to his contentious statements, he has managed to amass a following, particularly among young men, by promoting an ostentatious and hyper-masculine lifestyle.
As the case unfolds, public attention will undoubtedly be drawn to the trial, with many eagerly awaiting the outcome and hoping for justice to be served for the alleged victims. The complex web of charges and the high-profile nature of the defendants ensure that this trial will be closely monitored and scrutinized by the media and the public alike.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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