Competitors at the Beijing Winter Olympics will face an “Orwellian surveillance state” in China and could put themselves in danger if they speak out in support of the Uyghur Muslims, human rights and athlete advocacy groups have said.
In a blunt message before the games that begin on February 4th they also warned athletes not to expect the International Olympic Committee to protect them if they stood up for human rights or were critical of the Chinese authorities.
Yaqiu Wang, a researcher on China for Human Rights Watch, said the disappearance of the tennis player Peng Shuai was “a good indicator of what could possibly happen” if athletes spoke out.
“Chinese laws are very vague on the crimes that can be used to prosecute people’s free speech,” she said. “People can be charged with picking quarr …