Turning a Blind Eye to China’s Human Rights Abuses

With the Winter Olympics recently being held in Beijing, a spotlight was once again shone on China’s human rights abuses. Included among these abuses is forced live organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, who are made up primarily of Falun Gong practitioners, according to the China Tribunal and other reports.

In fact, last June, UN human rights experts expressed alarm over China’s organ harvesting atrocities while others claim that the state-run organ trafficking network in China is a billion-dollar industry.

Yet while these crimes against humanity are known to be taking place, many governments, organizations, and corporations around the world have chosen willful ignorance over taking actions to stop them. This includes the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Widely criticized for its complicity in awarding the Olympics to China, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) said of the IOC, “The International Olympic Committee should be embarrassed in picking the PRC, China, in the first place when you consider their grotesque human rights abuses over the years.” Chabot went on to say, “It’s barbaric to consider in modern times China is actually taking people’s organs involuntarily, but it’s happening, and they’re making money on this.”

According to a detailed map released by the Falun Dafa Information Center, detention facilities are located mere miles away from the Olympic venues. Visitors are surrounded by such horrors without even realizing it. Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Erping Zhang stated, “There is no other regime on earth that has the audacity, and international clout, to host the Games while simultaneously detaining such large numbers of prisoners of conscience in settings ripe with abuse and torture.”

Martins Rubenis, former Olympian and current coach of the Latvian men’s luge team, as well as outspoken advocate for human rights in China, was shocked when China was awarded a second Olympics. He says it’s a call for each of us to examine our own conscience.

“I believe that this is a moment where each of us has to deeply look within ourselves and tell whether this is acceptable to us, whether we want to live in such a world, or whether we are putting this aside and walking a humane path. I believe that these Olympic Games, and all this situation in the world with the whole COVID boom, will open our eyes a little to the fact that we cannot sell our souls,” Rubenis said.

It’s not just the IOC that has turned a blind eye to these atrocities. Companies such as Intel, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung, P&G, Toyota, Visa, Airbnb, Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Allianz have chosen to look the other way in a quest to boost their bottom lines. While publicly calling for social justice and an end to discrimination, racism, and inequality, when faced with a choice between financial gain and upholding their purported principles, they chose profit. When asked to comment on their decisions, not a single company wished to comment.

It’s time for the public to demand that these companies and organizations be held accountable for their complicity and inhumanity. Valuing money over morals only enables China to continue these atrocities. It’s time to make our voices heard, and say enough is enough.