Uyghur torchbearer in 2008 Olympics calls for Winter Games' boycott in Beijing

WION Web Team
Beijing Updated: Feb 04, 2022, 03:20 PM(IST)

Kamalturk Yalqun, one of the torchbearers of Olympic flame before the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, is calling for a boycott of the upcoming Winter Games. Photograph:( WION )

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Kamalturk Yalqun, who was one of the torchbearers at the age of 17, is an activist in the United States now. He is currently living in exile in Boston. Yalqun had also attended the Games later as a representative of his home region of Xinjiang. He recalled being proud to participate in the Olympics, but the feelings vanished when his father disappeared

The upcoming Winter Games in China have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons lately.  

A Uyghur, who was a part of the group of students chosen to help carry the Olympic flame before the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, has been calling for a boycott of the upcoming Winter Games over China's treatment of Uyghur ethnic community.   

Kamalturk Yalqun, who was one of the torchbearers at the age of 17, is an activist in the United States now. He is currently living in exile in Boston.  

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In an interview, Yalqun said, "It seems to me that our sense of global citizenship and sportsmanship is not moving forward with these Olympic Games anymore."   

Yalqun had also attended the Games later as a representative of his home region of Xinjiang. He recalled being proud to participate in the Olympics, but the feelings vanished when his father disappeared.  

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Yalqun had moved to the United States for graduate school in 2014 and has stayed since then. He has been joining protests in Boston regularly for boycotting the Winter Games.  

Yalqun is disappointed with only the diplomatic boycott as he wants a full boycott of these games.  

"It should be a collective responsibility when such kind of atrocities are happening. It's heartbreaking for me to see such a cold response from people," he said.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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