Olympics-Beijing Olympics burn in Olympia in protest

Winter Olympics-2022 Beijing Olympics Flame Illumination Winter Olympics-Ancient Olympia in Olympia, Greece-2021 October 18, 2022 Performers hold cauldron and flames during the 2022 Beijing Olympics Flame Illumination REUTERS / Costas Baltus

October 18, 2021

By Karolos Grohmann

Greek Ancient Olympia (Reuters)-Human rights activists protested that the 2022 Beijing Olympics were lit in ancient Greek Olympia on Monday, 100 days before the start of the February Olympics.

Two women and one man entered the site of an ancient Greek stadium and temple, which was traditionally illuminated by the Olympic torch and blocked by police for days.

A few seconds after the actress, who plays the role of a shrine maiden, ignited the torch in the Temple of Hera, a few meters away, she spread a banner with the words “No Genoside Game” and the Tibetan flag and shouted while officials watched. is.

The ceremony itself, which was also watched by Greek President Katerina Sakeraloprou, was not interrupted, and three activists who did not arrive at the actual stadiums and temples were taken away by police.

The Chinese capital will be the first city to host both winter and summer games when hosting events from February 4th to 20th, but protests against national human rights records and boycott calls have I hurt my preparation.

The other four protesters were detained outside the stadium an hour before the ceremony and taken to a local police station. Two more were arrested in Athens on Sunday after protesting at the Acropolis monument.

Rights groups and US legislators have told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the Games and hold an event unless China ends the ongoing mass slaughter of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups. I am asking you to relocate.

Chinese officials have been accused of promoting forced labor by detaining approximately one million Uighurs and other predominantly Islamic minorities in camps since 2016.

China has denied cheating by saying it has set up a vocational training center to combat extremism.

“The Olympics cannot meet all the challenges of our world,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in his speech in an ancient stadium before the protest.

“But they set an example of a world where everyone respects the same rules and respects each other. They encourage us to solve the problems of friendship and solidarity.”

This was the second time the torch lighting ceremony was interrupted by human rights activist protests, following the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

(Report by Karolos Grohmann, edited by Alison Williams and Ed Osmond)

Olympics-Beijing Olympics burn in Olympia in protest

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