African countries have ignored Washington's call for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, instead expressing support for China's hosting of the Games and warning that the event should not be a platform for politics.

Is it a crime to attend the Olympic games after a diplomatic boycott as a civilian if you're a diplomat? I am wondering if there are legal ramifications to a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic games in the United States, or if the diplomatic ban simply mean that the U.S. won't pay the diplomats to attend the Olympic games as diplomats.


1 Answer 1


It is not a crime in the US. It may be a firing offense depending on the nature of the appointment (that is, what exactly do you mean by "diplomat"?) or at least cause for demotion / reassignment. A diplomat from another country could be declared persona non grata, but again it is not a crime to act contrary to a governmental boycott call, in the US. This follows from the First Amendment.

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    How would the First Amendment allow people to violate boycotts? Is it because of the freedom to gather peaceably, and is it because First Amendment rights still apply against the US government trying to restrict its citizens outside of its own territory? Jan 25 at 22:43

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