An individual making such a decision seems insignificant, he acknowledged before saying, “This is an issue that an increasing amount of Americans are becoming aware of and are concerned about.”
Turkel, the first U.S.-educated Uyghur-American lawyer, expressed his gratitude for the SBC’s resolution regarding the CCP’s genocidal campaign.
“This type of love for your neighbors is rare to see,” he said. “[The CCP] has set itself against the very nature of God, human nature and freedom of belief and thought. The Uyghur genocide is the most visible example of this reality played out.
“[T]hese games stand as an abomination in the eyes of God and to everyone with a soul.”
The Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott of the games “is a meaningful symbol in the sense that the American head of state is not granting the prestige and international legitimacy that the Olympics afford the country that hosts them,” Sobolik said. “But a diplomatic boycott is useful if it is approached as a starting point to go beyond and not as the bare minimum of policy.”
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The administration could have done more, Sobolik said. While some other countries also have invoked diplomatic boycotts, the United States could have coordinated an effort to build a coalition of governments to do so, he said.
Enactment of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in December was “a massive first step for taking substantive action towards what’s happening with the Uyghurs,” Sobolik told the online audience. The law, a policy priority for the ERLC, prohibits products made with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region from being introduced into the American market.
Yet, for some American corporations and politicians, “an ongoing genocide is not at the top of their list,” Sobolik said. “We have done quite a bit, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”
Turkel and Abbas, both Uyghurs, criticized the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its leading corporate sponsors for complicity with China’s oppressive policies.
The IOC “has chosen to affirm” the CCP’s actions against the Uyghurs by failing to relocate or delay this year’s Olympics, Turkel said. The IOC and U.S. Olympic Committee “have repeatedly stated that it’s not their role to solve political issues,” he said.
Abbas expressed her shock that leaders of several IOC corporate sponsors – Coca-Cola, Intel, Visa, Proctor & Gamble and Airbnb – “surrendered their rights to speak against” the CCP during congressional testimony last year. “It was shameful to witness those corporate giant representatives actively choose their profits, their market shares over their own freedom of speech and their conscience,” she said. Only Intel’s representative said he believed the State Department’s conclusion the CCP was committing genocide against the Uyghurs, the Associated Press reported.
The CCP’s oppressive practices in Xinjiang include tracking Uyghur Muslims by means of a high-tech surveillance system that has obtained genetic data on many residents, according to reports. It is estimated more than one million of the 12 million Uyghurs, and maybe as many as three million, have been detained in “re-education” camps. Forced labor by prisoners is common. Life in the camps reportedly can result in indoctrination, as well as rape, torture and coercive organ harvesting. Uyghur women are also at the mercy of forced abortions and sterilizations.
The CCP’s genocidal campaign against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang offers a preview of its long-term ambitions, panelists said.