Hockey Federation turns blind eye to human rights by confirming 2014 championships in Belarus
19 May 2012 We, eight human rights organisations in the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland are deeply disappointed that the International Ice Hockey Federation confirmed today at its general assembly in Helsinki that the Republic of Belarus will host the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
Belarus finds itself in the most alarming human rights crisis since the country became an independent state in 1991. We believe that to hold the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Belarus would support and legitimatise a regime that violates the human rights of the people of Belarus in an alarming way.
Therefore we will continue our campaign “Don’t play with the dictator” until the IIHF
revokes its decision to hold the Ice Hockey World Championship 2014 in Belarus. Our campaign is reinforced by recent support from all over the world, including from CIVICUS (World Alliance for Citizen Participation, South Africa), Freedom House and several members of parliament in Europe. For updates on our campaign, please visit www.minsk2014.no
Olle Schmidt, Swedish member of the European Parliament recently joined our campaign, saying “Europe’s last dictator was given the honor of hosting the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2014. The sporting world also must realize what this looks like – should it allow the hockey’s reputation getting tarnished by this unabashed backing for a dictator who is responsible for the execution of young people after summary trials?”
Petruška Šustrová, Director
Lída Vacková, Center for Human Rights and Democracy.
People in Need
Dr. Hans-Georg Wieck, Chairman
Human Rights in Belarus
Lars Bünger, Chairman
Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights
Norwegian Helsinki Committee
Carl Morten Iversen, Secretary General
Martin Uggla, Chairman
Östgruppen – Swedish Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights
People in Peril