A Uighur exile and activist is calling on the US to boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics over the Chinese Communist Party’s atrocities against the group — which he says is “on the brink of extinction.”
Tahir Imin, 40, — who was forced to flee his home in 2017 due to the increasingly oppressive political environment — believes the boycott is key to holding the CCP accountable.
“The new administration should boycott [the] Olympics,” Imin told The Post.
Sitting the winter games out was a “necessary” step in stopping China’s systemic abuse of the Uighur Muslim minority in the country’s Xinjiang region, he said.
Since 2017, the Chinese Communist Party has reportedly carried out a brutal campaign to forcefully assimilate the ethnic group, sparking international outcry.
Experts estimate that between one and three million Uighurs and other minorities are detained in internment camps, which the Chinese government calls “re-education centers.”
Former detainees, activists and news reports have described indoctrination techniques including waterboarding, brainwashing and other forms of torture.
China, which denies any human-rights abuses, has also been accused of forcibly sterilizing Uighur women and mandating abortions.
Imin, an academic now based in Washington D.C., begged for the US and other countries to take action, saying, “We are on the brink of extinction.”
“If the world international community doesn’t take serious actions, they will lose a very important element of humanity,” he warned.
In January, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken endorsed a determination from his Republican predecessor, Mike Pompeo, that China’s treatment of Uighurs amounts to genocide.
“My judgment remains that genocide was committed against the Uighurs and that hasn’t changed,” Blinken said.
Pompeo, on former President Donald Trump’s last day in office, had issued a fierce rebuke of Beijing, saying that “we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uighurs by the Chinese party-state.”
Canada’s parliament last week passed a motion to also deem China’s treatment of Uighurs a genocide, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been reluctant to use that word.
“Any country [that] believes that China committed genocide, they shouldn’t do business with China, because China did commit genocide against Uighur people,” Imin told The Post.
His call adds to mounting pressure for the Biden administration to bow out of next year’s Olympics.
A coalition of 180 human rights and activist groups have called on governments to boycott the games over China’s reported human-rights abuses against Uighurs, Tibetans and other minorities.
A growing number of Republican lawmakers have also joined the chorus for the games to be moved or for President Biden to instate a boycott.
It would be the first time the US has spurned the games since the Carter administration boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics over the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that there’s currently no plan to bar American athletes from participating.
“We’re not currently talking about changing our posture or our plans as it relates to the Beijing Olympics,” Psaki said during a news briefing.
The the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it opposes boycotts “because they have been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues.”
“We believe the more effective course of action is for the governments of the world and China to engage directly on human rights and political issues.”
A Chinese government spokesperson on Wednesday brushed off the global calls for a boycott, saying the effort was “doomed to fail.”
While Imin admitted that it’s unclear exactly what, if anything, could force China to put an end to the draconian measures, he also expressed hope that people would band together to oppose the regime.
“If we really be consistent, and on our cause, we can take up a lot of measures, including the boycott,” of both the Olympics and China’s products, Imin said.
“You don’t have to do business with China,” he added. “People don’t have to use any products that has involvement in the Chinese Communist Party’s benefit.”
With Post wires
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