FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 21 January 2022
Jacob Kessler, Students for a Free Tibet, +1516 776 6472, Jacob@studentsforafreetibet.org (English)
David Missal, Tibet Initiative Deutschland, + 49 151 2502 1295, firstname.lastname@example.org (German)
Bini Guttmann, Never Again Right Now, +43 664 4030772, Bini@eujs.org (German)
***Photos and videos of today’s protests are available at: https://bit.ly/SFTandTIDmedia
Tibetan, German, and Jewish activists are calling on the company to drop its sponsorship of Beijing 2022
BERLIN—Activists are currently chained to the doors of the Allianz headquarters in Berlin. Activists are also holding a large banner which reads “Allianz: Drop the Genocide Games!” Two weeks before the start of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, they are taking this action to demand that Allianz immediately and unequivocally end its sponsorship for Beijing 2022, dubbed the “Genocide Games.” As of 11:00am CET, activists are still locked to the doors of the building and there are four police officers at the scene.
At 10:00am CET, two activists (one Tibetan and one Jewish) peacefully walked to the entrance of Allianz, sat down, and proceeded to lock themselves to the doors of the building. They then began chanting slogans such as: “We fight for Tibet’s liberation. Don’t support Chinese occupation!” This action comes more than two weeks after activists from Tibet Initiative Deutschland (TID) dropped off a petition to Allianz with more than 46,000 signatures calling on the company to cancel its deal with Beijing 2022. TID gave the insurance giant two weeks to respond, but received no reply.
Padma Wangyal (73), is the Tibetan activist currently locked to the doors:
“I was born in Tibet and had to flee my homeland when I was 6-years-old. I never thought that the struggle for basic human rights would take so long. Allianz is supporting an Olympic Games in a country that oppresses Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Hong Kongers. Our tradition and culture will be wiped out if we allow companies to be complicit in China’s cultural genocide. My demand from Allianz is simple: do not put business contracts above human lives.”
Mischa Ushakov (23), German Activist and Co-Founder of Never Again Right Now, is the other activist locked to Allianz’s doors:
“80 years ago Allianz supported a genocidal regime. Allianz says it has dealt with its history of supporting the Nazis. But the sponsoring of the Genocide Games in China makes it clear: Allianz is only pretending to have come to terms with its shameful past. Even decades later, its Nazi money follows the principle of profit before morals. Allianz knows about the Uyghur genocide, but it keeps silent and is thus complicit.”
Tenzin Yangzom, Grassroots Director at Students for a Free Tibet, said:
“For the past year, we have been trying to get Olympic sponsors like Allianz, Mars, Airbnb, and others to take our human rights concerns seriously, but to no avail. That is why activists were forced to peacefully take action today—to demonstrate to Allianz that their sponsorship of the Genocide Games makes them complicit in China’s human rights abuses. I hope that any corporate CEO or business leader that sees today’s action will recognize that partnering with the CCP has consequences.”