Tokyo 2020: “ the genocidaires do not deserve to be at the Olympics ”, the Burmese swimmer Win Htet Oo

In a Facebook post, swimmer Win Htet Oo said in dismissing the Myanmar Olympic Committee that he had given up any chance of competing in the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

Currently training in Melbourne, Win Htet Oo’s Facebook profile says he is “a Burmese swimmer dreaming of Tokyo 2020”.

The swimmer has been a vocal critic of Myanmar in recent weeks.

“I do not wish to participate in the Tokyo Games under the leadership of an NOC [National Olympic Committee] which is linked to a regime that continues to inflict suffering on my people, ”Win Htet Oo said in another Facebook post on April 10.
The IOC did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment, but the organization told AFP that “” to our knowledge, “Win Htet Oo was not selected by the Myanmar team .
World Swimming Magazine describes Win Htet Oo as one of Myanmar’s ‘best swimmers’, who swam for his country at the 2013 and 2019 Southeast Asian Games
Win Htet Oo is ranked 166th in the men’s 50-meter freestyle standings on the Swimming Governing Body (Fédération Internationale De Natation) website. But he is no longer listed as part of the Myanmar national team.

The Myanmar Olympic Committee did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Win Htet Oo says he is sacrificing his dream of competing in the Tokyo Olympics to protest against the ruling junta in his country.
LILY: Protests and demonstrations banned at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

In February, the Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar’s armed forces, General Min Aung Hlaing, seized power, toppling the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and his National League for Democracy party and installing a military junta. .

The following months saw continued protests against his rule and the rise of a civil disobedience movement in which thousands of blue and white collar workers, including doctors, teachers, government officials and factory workers, gathered. went on strike in an attempt to disrupt the economy. and overthrowing the general.

Security forces brutally suppressed protests with murderous and systematic crackdowns in which police and soldiers shot dead in the streets and arbitrarily detained suspected opponents.

More than 750 people have been killed by security forces since the coup and more than 4,500 arrested, according to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners advocacy group.

On March 28, UN officials condemned the “systematic” attacks on peaceful protesters and called on the international community to “protect the people of Myanmar from atrocious crimes”.

“The shameful, cowardly and brutal actions of the military and police – which were filmed shooting protesters as they fled and which did not even spare young children – must be immediately stopped.” , said Alice Wairimu Nderitu, United Nations Specialist. Adviser on the prevention of genocide, and Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a joint statement
Win Htet swam collegially at New York University.  This photo was taken on April 29, 2021 at the Melbourne Aquatic Center.
READ: Which nation should top the Olympic medal table?

A 2018 UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar called for Min Aung Hlaing to be investigated and prosecuted for genocide for his army’s brutal crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority in the state. of Rakhine in 2017.

In his latest Facebook post, Win Htet Oo said he was inspired “by the continued contempt for the military regime in Myanmar by an intersectional movement that will never submit. Their bravery is eternal.”

“The government of national unity is the sole legitimate representative of the people of Myanmar and all international organizations and governments should recognize NUG as the government of Myanmar,” added Win Htet Oo, who swam for New York University. between 2012 and 2015.

Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly showed Win Htet Oo’s ranking on the Swimming Governing Body’s website.

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