Snickers Joint Letter – January 2021

Mr Grant F. Reid
Chief Executive Officer, Mars, Incorporated
6885 Elm Street, Mclean, Virginia
22101, U.S.

26 January 2021

Dear Mr Reid,

We, a coalition of over 149 global campaign groups, are writing this letter to raise our serious concerns that Mars Wrigley’s brand Snickers have signed on as official sponsor for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and to urge you to carefully reconsider this decision and immediately cancel the sponsorship.

In just over a year the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games will open. 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 the reality is far from inclusive, open and harmonious; instead daily life is characterized by a brutal crackdown on cultural diversity, a tearing apart of community cohesion and closed doors to human rights monitors and international media who have been desperately trying to document the worsening crackdown. 

As you will no doubt be 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 January 2020, for the fifth year in a row, it was listed as the second worst place in the world for civil and political rights after only 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 even participate in, the Winter Olympics is virtually impossible.

The Chinese government’s lack of openness and commitment to societal progress has been further exemplified by its crackdown in Hong Kong, where Beijing has implemented a draconian National Security Bill for Hong Kong that bans acts of “splittism, subversion, foreign intervention, and terrorism”, in its latest effort to curtail any remaining human rights of those living under Chinese rule. 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 characterised by a spirit of ‘openness.’ 

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.

As groups dedicated to the protection of human rights and best business practices, we applaud the company’s strong public endorsement of human rights policies and practice and commitment to “building strong human rights partnerships”. Unfortunately, the government of China is not a viable or qualified candidate for such a partnership, and Mars Wrigley should not side step those values to reap the financial rewards that come with sponsoring a major sporting event that is taking place in such a repressive environment. 

We urge you to immediately cancel your sponsorship of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, or risk being tainted by association. By terminating this agreement, Mars Wrigley has an opportunity to send a clear message that it will not tolerate dealing with governments that profit from occupation, genocide and human rights violations and to make a real difference to the lives of those living under Beijing’s tight grip.

We request the opportunity to meet with you and other representatives of Mars Wrigley to discuss our serious concerns regarding the situation facing Tibetan, Uyghur, Hong Kong, Southern Mongolian and Chinese activists. Please contact Mandie McKeown at to discuss arranging this meeting.

Yours sincerely,

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

Dolkun Isa, World Uyghur Congress
Dorjee Tseten, Students for a Free Tibet
Rushan Abbas, Campaign for Uyghurs
Frances Hui,  WeThe HongKongers
Omer Kanat, Uyghur Human Rights Project
Jenny WangKeep Taiwan Free
Teng Biao, China Against the Death Penalty 周锋锁
Zhou Fengsuo
, Humanitarian China
John Jones, Free Tibet
Zoe Bedford, Australia Tibet Council
Enghebatu Togochog, Southern Mongolian Human Rights Center
Tashi Shitsetsang, Tibetan Youth Association Europe
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

Asociación Cultural Peruano Tibetana

Asociación Cultural Tibetano Costarricense

Association Cognizance Tibet, North Carolina

Association Drôme Ardèche-Tibet

Associazione Italia-Tibet

Australia China Watch

Bay Area Friends of Tibet

Bharrat Tibbat Sahyog Manch, India

Boston Tibet Network

Boston Uyghur Association

Briancon05 Urgence Tibet

Canada Tibet Committee

Casa del Tibet – Spain

Casa Tibet México

Centro De Cultura Tibetana, Brazil

China Alarm

China Labour Solidarity

Circle of Friends (Philippines)

Comité de Apoyo al Tibet (CAT)

Committee of 100 for Tibet

Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India

Czechs Support Tibet

Daily HongKong

Defend Democracy

Dream for Children, Japan

EcoTibet Ireland

Étudiants Pour Un Tibet Libre

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

Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete, Portugal

Hong Kong Committee in Norway

Hong Kongers in San Francisco Bay Area

Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan

India Tibet Friendship Society

International Campaign for Tibet

International Society for Human Rights- Sweden

International Society of Human Rights, Munich Chapter (IGFM)

International Tibet Independence Movement

Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People

Japan Association of Monks for Tibet (Super Sangha)

Jewish Movement for Uyghur Freedom

Justice For All

Le Club Français, Paraguay

Les Amis du Tibet – Belgium

Les Amis du Tibet Luxembourg

Lions Des Neiges Mont Blanc, France

Lungta Association Belgium

Maison des Himalayas

Maison du Tibet – Tibet Info

National Campaign for Tibetan Support, India

National Committee of Democracy Party of China

National Democratic Party of Tibet

Objectif Tibet

Passeport Tibetain

Phagma Drolma-Arya Tara

RangZen:Movimento Tibete Livre, Brazil

Roof of the World Foundation, Indonesia

Sakya Trinley Ling

Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet

Save Tibet Foundation

Save Tibet, Austria

Sierra Friends of Tibet

Society for Threatened Peoples International

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

Swedish Tibet Committee

Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association (GSTF)

Taiwan Friends of Tibet

Tashi Delek Bordeaux

The Norwegian Tibet Committee

The Norwegian Uyghur Committee

The Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, Mongolia and Turkestan

Tibet Action Group of Western Australia

Tibet Action Institute

Tibet cesky (Tibet in Czech)

Tibet Committee of Fairbanks

Tibet Group, Panama

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 Austria

Tibetan Community in Britain

Tibetan Community in Denmark

Tibetan Community in Ireland

Tibetan Community of Italy

Tibetan Community of Victoria

Tibetan Community Sweden

Tibetan Community, Queensland

Tibetan Cultural Association – Quebec

Tibetan Programme of The Other Space Foundation

Tibetan Women’s Association (Central)

Tibetans of Mixed Heritage

Tibetisches Zentrum Hamburg


Toronto Association for Democracy in China

U.S. Tibet Committee

United Nations for a Free Tibet (UNFFT)

US Hongkongers Club

Uyghur American Association

Uyghur Association of Victoria, Australia

Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement (VSSDM)

Voces Tibet

World League for Freedom and Democracy

台灣永社 Taiwan Forever Association, TFA