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Beijing Olympics: After US boycott… When will the world Stand Against Saudi Attempts to Whitewash its records through Sports?

Together for Justice has welcomed the United States’ decision to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over China’s brutal human rights record, particularly against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Although American athletes will participate in the games, the Biden administration will not send any official representation to Beijing, a move that carries the message that China is no longer welcome as long as its violations continue without limits.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden made the decision in light of the “ongoing genocide in China, crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, and other human rights violations.”

“We will continue to take measures to advance human rights in China and abroad,” she added.

In this regard, the organisation urges officials in the United States and all the various countries in the world to take similar positions in the international sports tournaments and events organised by Saudi Arabia, which many experts and analysts consider to be attemptd at the so-called “sports washing” aimed at covering up the crimes of the Saudi regime and its violations of human rights.

The violations of the Saudi regime are no less heinous than those of China. It is committing war crimes against civilians in Yemen, which the Saudi military intervention turned more than six years ago into the poorest country in the world suffering from the worst humanitarian catastrophe in contemporary history.

Security prosecutions against opinion-holders, activists and opponents at home and abroad, the brutal murder in which Khashoggi lost his life and was orchestrated by the regime, the fierce security grip on freedom of opinion and expression that stifles any citizen who wants to express his opinion on any of the policies of the ruling regime, arbitrary arrests campaigns and electronic surveillance targeting anyone who sings outside the regime’s wishes, are all violations that require an international boycott of any activity supervised by the Saudi regime at any level.

The crimes of the Saudi regime and its repressive practices are well documented by Western countries, which knows that the Saudi authorities seeks to cover up these atrocities, and “sports washing” was the best way to do so.

Last October, Newcastle United was acquired by Saudi Arabia, as the Saudi government-owned Public Investment Fund bought an 80% stake in the English football club for 300 million pounds ($400 million). The deal took place despite human rights calls urging the English Premier League to triumph for humanity and refuse to cooperate with a regime whose built with the blood of innocents.

The purchase of Newcastle United was the latest investment in sports by the kingdom’s authorities. Over recent years, Saudi Arabia has spent more than $1.5 billion to organise global sporting events, according to a report by Grant Liberty, including organising the annual Spanish Super Cup football match, and golf tournaments, International men’s and women’s, professional wrestling, in addition to the famous Formula 1 race, scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia this month for the first time.

F1 – owned by US-based Liberty Media Corp – has signed a 10-year deal with the kingdom worth $650 million.

The Saudi regime, like the rest of the authoritarian regimes in the world, is using all its tools and huge money to buy global influence that enables it to cover its brutal crimes against humanity, but the boycott and refusal to cooperate are the strongest means that send a message to these regimes that humanity is still a priority for governments and peoples, and that the financial and political interests must never be overcome.

We call upon all countries and governments of the world to unite and take a moral stand in the diplomatic boycott of all sporting tournaments and events that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia participates in organising and hosting in order to ensure respect for human rights and redress for victims.

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