Over 200 Global Rights Groups Urge NBCUniversal to Cancel Beijing 2022 Broadcast Deal

Dear Mr. Shell and Mr. Zenkel,

We represent a coalition of 200 global campaign groups and are writing to you to urge NBCUniversal to cancel its broadcast deal for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games due to China’s genocide against the Uyghur people, the severe and escalating repression in Tibet, Southern Mongolia, Hong Kong, and China proper, and geopolitical bullying of Taiwan. By going ahead with the broadcast, NBC will be legitimizing these abuses and promoting the ‘Genocide Games’. We instead call on you to use your platform as one of the world’s top international broadcasters to inform the public about the crisis of repression occurring in all of these places under Chinese rule.

We applaud NBC’s strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the advancement of social justice and fighting inequality. In your recently announced plan to ‘Advance Social Justice and Equality’ you state that NBC will be ‘working to eradicate injustice’ – commitments that are to be lauded, but that will be entirely overshadowed if you continue to support the Beijing Winter Olympics.

According to the Chinese authorities, this prestigious event will be “open” and “inclusive”, create a “harmonious world” and promote “social progress”. But for those living under China’s rule daily life is anything but, and is instead characterized by a merciless crackdown on individual and collective rights and freedom, an all-out assault on cultural diversity, and a tearing apart of community cohesion through sophisticated methods of surveillance and control. All of these extreme abuses are taking place under an almost total information blackout in Tibet and East Turkistan (Xinjiang), with the doors closed to human rights monitors and international media.

As you are no doubt aware, the human rights situation for those living under China’s rule has reached an unprecedented low. The situation in occupied Tibet has dramatically deteriorated and in 2021 it was ranked by Freedom House as the least free place in the world for civil and political rights equal only to Syria. At least two million Muslims – including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Uzbeks – are locked in “re-education camps” undergoing systematic torture and political re-education. Imagining a world in which they are able to watch, let alone participate in, the Winter Olympics is virtually impossible.

In Hong Kong, where Beijing has implemented a draconian National Security Bill that bans acts of “splittism, subversion, foreign intervention, and terrorism”, freedom and democracy are under attack. This includes an all-out assault on media freedom which, just today, saw the forced closure of the iconic Hong Kong newspapers the Apple Daily along with the imprisonment of its founder, key journalists, and members of the board of directors. Meanwhile, China continues to jail more journalists than any other country in the world, making it difficult to reconcile the Chinese government’s claims that the Games will be characterized by a spirit of “openness”.

It is no secret that the Chinese government, like all authoritarian powers, wants to use the Olympics to build its legitimacy — legitimacy it does not have because China is a one-party state without democratic elections or the rule of law. A letter from Human Rights Watch to the International Olympic Committee recently raised the fact that the 2022 Games will take place in a human rights environment significantly worse than that of 2008 when the Chinese government repeatedly backtracked on the human rights pledges it made to secure the right to host the Games. Considering how seriously the human rights situation has deteriorated since China held the 2008 Games, we shudder to think how much worse it will get if Beijing 2022 goes ahead without serious global opposition.

We urge you to immediately cancel your plans to air the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, or risk being forever tainted by your partnership with “Genocide Games”. NBC has an opportunity to truly work to eradicate injustice by taking a stand on the right side of history and sending a clear message that genocide and crimes against humanity are a red line that will not be crossed, no matter the cost.

We request the opportunity to meet with you and other representatives of NBCUniversal to discuss our serious concerns regarding the situation facing Tibetan, Uyghur, Hong Kong, Southern Mongolian, and Chinese activists. Please contact Lhadon Tethong at lhadon@tibetaction.net / +1 (917) 418-4181 to discuss arranging this meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Mandie McKeown – Executive Director, International Tibet Network – on behalf of:

Dorjee Tseten,  Students for a Free Tibet 

Dolkun Isa, World Uyghur Congress

Rushan Abbas, Campaign for Uyghurs 

Frances Hui, WeThe HongKongers

Lhadon Tethong, Tibet Action Institute

Enghebatu Togochog, Southern Mongolian Human Rights Center

John Jones, Free Tibet 

Tashi Shitsetsang,  Tibetan Youth Association Europe

Omer Kanat, Uyghur Human Rights Project 

Jenny Wang, Keep Taiwan Free

Teng Biao, China Against the Death Penalty 

周锋锁 Zhou Fengsuo, Humanitarian China

Zoe Bedford, Australia Tibet Council 

Mattias Bjornerstedt, Swedish Tibet Committee

and the following organisations:

Aide aux Refugies Tibetains
Amigos de Tibet, Colombia
Amigos del Tíbet, Chile
Amigos del Tíbet, El Salvador
Anterrashtriya Bharat – Tibbet Sahyog Samiti
AREF International Onlus
Asociación Cultural Peruano Tibetana
Asociación Cultural Tibetano Costarricense
Association Cognizance Tibet, North Carolina
Association Drôme Ardèche-Tibet
Associazione Italia-Tibet
Australia China Watch
Australian East Turkestan Association
Australian Uyghur Association
Australian Uyghur Tangritagh Women’s Association
Austria Uyghur Association
Bay Area Friends of Tibet
Belgium Uyghur Association
Bharrat Tibbat Sahyog Manch, India
Boston Tibet Network
Boston Uyghur Association
Briancon05 Urgence Tibet
Canada Tibet Committee
Canadian Coalition Against Communism
Captive Nations Coaltion
Casa del Tibet – Spain
Casa Tibet México
Centro De Cultura Tibetana, Brazil
China Alarm
Circle of Friends (Philippines)
Citizen Power Initiatives for China
Comité de Apoyo al Tibet (CAT)
Committee of 100 for Tibet
Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India
Czechs Support Tibet
DC Chapter of China Democracy Party
Defend Democracy
Dream for Children, Japan
Dutch Uyghur Human Rights Foundation
East Turkistan Association in Finland
East Turkistan Association of Canada
East Turkistan Education Center in Europe
East Turkistan New Generation Movement
East Turkistan Nuzugum Culture and Family Organization
East Turkistan Press and Media Organization
East Turkistan Union in Europe
Eastern Turkistan Foundation
Eastern Turkistan Uyghur Association in Netherlands
EcoTibet Ireland
Étudiants Pour Un Tibet Libre
Euro-Asia Foundation: Teklimakan Publishing House
European Uyghur Institute
Federation for a Democratic China
Foundation for Universal Responsibility of H. H. the Dalai Lama
Free Indo-Pacific Alliance
Free Tibet Fukuoka
Friends of Tibet in Costa Rica
Friends of Tibet in Finland
Friends of Tibet New Zealand
Germany Stands with Hong Kong
Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities
Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete, Portugal
Hong Kong Commitee in Norway
Hong Kong Social Action Movements in Boston
Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan
Ilham Tohti Initiative
India Tibet Friendship Society
International Pen Uyghur Center
International Society for Human Rights- Sweden
International Society of Human Rights, Munich Chapter
Isa Yusup Alptekin Foundation
Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People
Japan Association of Monks for Tibet (Super Sangha)
Japan Uyghur Association
Justice 4 Uyghurs
Justice For All
Kazakhstan National Culture Center
Le Club Français, Paraguay
Les Amis du Tibet – Belgium
Lions Des Neiges Mont Blanc, France
Lungta Association Belgium
Maison des Himalayas
Maison du Tibet – Tibet Info
Mavi Hilal Humanitarian Organization
McPASS (McGill Hong Kong Public Awareness and Social Service)
National Campaign for Tibetan Support, India
National Democratic Party of Tibet
Norwegian Uyghur Committee
Objectif TibetPasseport Tibetain
Phagma Drolma-Arya Tara
RangZen:Movimento Tibete Livre, Brazil
Regional Tibetan Association of Massachusetts
Roof of the World Foundation, Indonesia
Sakya Trinley Ling
Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet
Save the Persecuted Christians
Save Tibet Foundation
Save Tibet, Austria
Shukr Foundation
Sierra Friends of Tibet
Society for Threatened Peoples International
Society Union of Uyghur National Association
Stand With Hong Kong Vienna
Students for a Free Tibet – Canada
Students for a Free Tibet – UK
Students for a Free Tibet Denmark
Students for a Free Tibet India
Students for a Free Tibet Japan
Sweden Uyghur Education Union
Swedish Tibet Committee
Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association (GSTF)
Switzerland East Turkestan Association
Taiwan Friends of Tibet
Tashi Delek Bordeaux
The Norwegian Tibet Committee
The Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, Mongolia and Turkestan
Tibet Action Group of Western Australia
Tibet cesky (Tibet in Czech)
Tibet Committee of Fairbanks
Tibet Initiative Deutschland
Tibet Justice Center
Tibet Lives, India
Tibet Mx
Tíbet Patria Libre, Uruguay
Tibet Rescue Initiative in Africa
Tibet Society of South Africa
Tibet Support Committee Denmark
Tibet Support Group Adelaide
Tibet Support Group Kenya
Tibet Support Group Kiku, Japan
Tibet Support Group Netherlands
Tibet Support Group Slovenia
Tibetan Association of Germany
Tibetan Association of Ithaca
Tibetan Association of Northern California
Tibetan Association of Philadelphia
Tibetan Community in Britain
Tibetan Community in Denmark
Tibetan Community of Italy
Tibetan Community of Victoria
Tibetan Community Sweden
Tibetan Community, Queensland
Tibetan Cultural Association – Quebec
Tibetan Women’s Association (Central)
Tibetans of Mixed Heritage
Tibetisches Zentrum Hamburg
Torontonian HongKongers Action Group
U.S. Tibet Committee
Uigur Society of the Kyrgyz Republic
Umer Uyghur Trust
United Nations for a Free Tibet (UNFFT)
US Hongkongers Club
Uyghur Academy
Uyghur American Association
Uyghur Association of France
Uyghur Center for Human Rights and Democracy
Uyghur Cultural and Education Union in Germany
Uyghur Education Union
Uyghur Human Right Project
Uyghur Projects Foundation
Uyghur Refugee Relief Fund
Uyghur Research Institute
Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
Uyghur Support Group Netherlands
Uyghur Transitional Justice Database
Uyghur U.K. Association
Uyghur Youth Union in Kazakhstan
Uzbekistan Uyghur Culture Center
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
Viktoria Uyghur Association
Voces Tibet
World Uyghur Congress Foundation