Published on 16/02/2022 9:35 am

This week on Local Matters, we focus on the Olympic Games in Beijing. Our guest for today was Olivier Pirot, General Director of Amnesty International Luxembourg who is more than concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.

In January, the organisers of the Olympic Wintergames in Beijing warned athletes not to violate the “Olympic spirit” or Chinese rules, after human rights advocates expressed concerns about the safety of the athletes. “Any behaviour or speeches that is against the Olympic spirit, especially against Chinese laws and regulations, are subject to certain punishment,” said Yang Shu, deputy director general of Beijing 2022’s International Relations Department, during a press conference in January.

While athlete teams from all over the world compete in the Games, other countries decided to boycott the Olympics sending a clear message: We don’t support nor tolerate the human rights violations in China. Luxembourg is not part of this movement and neither the human rights NGO Amnesty International Luxembourg voiced a call for boycott. General Director Olivier Pirot explains: “A boycott is not enough. If you are there as a partner, it is an opportunity. You should use this opportunity to remind China of its obligations. China is member of the United Nations. So, they have to respect the human rights declaration.”

Olivier Pirot is concerned about the lack of the freedom of expression in the country, and not least about the high number of executions due to the death penalty. “Every year, we launch a report on death penalty. China is not even mentioned in the report with figures because we’re talking about thousands of executions in China. We don’t even know how many.” But Pirot is hopeful: “If you look decades back, there were a lot of countries where death penalty was still ongoing and with this slow pressure, things are changing. Every year, we see improvements. It is long processes.”

Belongs to

Local Matters

With : Lisa Everyday from Monday to Friday 9.30

This show is dedicated to the best music from Luxembourg & beyond. Franziska & Lisa explores big social and community topics.

  • En
  • Agenda
  • Interview
  • Set List
  • Talk

Local Matters: Olympics and Human Rights