Allow Human Rights Protest During Olympic Games

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) working principles focus on universality, celebrating diversity and good governance. Despite these principles, Rule 50 of the Olympic charter states “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in the Olympic areas''. Rule 50 directly conflicts with article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states:

 “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference.”

The universal right to freedom of expression is especially important during these contentious times. There are governments across the globe that are currently taking away freedoms and explicitly disregarding human rights with no international consequences. In China, Muslim Uyghurs are being detained in “re-education camps”, others are under surveillance and being killed, due to their ethnicity and religion. In Egypt, a scholar by the name of Patrick George Zaki has been imprisoned for his academic research and human rights advocacy. The Olympics should be a time where athletes are able to use their platform to advocate on behalf of those that have no voice, and to call attention to nations that are not abiding by the principles of the Olympic committee and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

The current rules of the Olympic games deny athletes their right to be able to express their opinions freely. We are advocating for the IOC to follow their principle of universality and allow for athletes to be able to advocate on behalf of human rights during the Olympic games. 

Other petitions to sign - 

Scholars at Risk Petition for Patrick George Zaki on -

Take Action for Professor Ilham Tohti, an imprisoned Muslim Uyghur - 

United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention, Stand up for The Uyghur Muslims in China -

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