‘Certain punishment’: Beijing warns Olympians against protesting

The Sydney Morning Herald reports

The Beijing Olympic Committee has warned that dedicated departments will be able to punish athletes who protest at the Winter Olympics, escalating concerns about the safety of international competitors two weeks out from the start of the Games.

In comments labelled, “chilling” and “despicable” by the chair of the Australian Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, James Paterson, and Olympian and human rights lawyer Nikki Dryden, the BOC said protests that broke China’s restrictions on freedom of speech would be liable under Chinese law.

“Any behaviour or speech that is against the Olympic spirit, especially against the Chinese laws and regulations, are also subject to certain punishment.”

Yang said, “the politicisation of sports is one of the things opposed by the Olympic Charter” and that “dedicated departments” would establish if any protests violated Chinese laws or Olympic regulations.