Statement of Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Vice President of German Bundestag
Looking at Belarus, we unfortunately have to consider that the situation is getting even worse. Obviously the Lukashenka regime systematically tries to destroy the engagement for democracy and human rights in Belarus in deceitful ways. Many, for example the leader of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights, Ales Bialiatski, have been detentioned based on shady accusations, followed by a propaganda trial in disregard with the rule of law. By facing the unbearable situation in Belarus and the ongoing repression against the opposition, I would consider it an absolute wrong signal if these brutal actions of Lukashenko would be rewarded in any way. Europe’s last dictator should not be given the opportunity for any grand appearance until there are serious efforts towards the improvement of the intolerable situation. Therefore the International Ice Hockey Federation would be well advised to remove the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship from Belarus. It is not just a game, we are taking it seriously.