World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


IOC called to uphold human rights

10 February 2014

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) must not ignore the serious human rights violations associated with the preparation for and staging of the Sochi Olympic Games, Amnesty International said today.

In a letter to IOC’s President Thomas Bach the organization urges him to raise with the Russian authorities the harassment of environmentalists as well as the denial of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly in the context of the Sochi Olympics.

“The Olympic torch sheds light on human rights violations in Russia. It also sheds light on IOC actions regarding human rights violations in the context of Olympic Games. Its failure to admonish the Russian authorities for their ongoing discrimination and harassment is to a failure to live up to the very principles that form the core of the Olympic Charter,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“The IOC must take the Russian leadership to task over its blatant violations of human rights in the context of the Games. Not doing so would be a betrayal of the Olympic Charter’s stated goal to uphold spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

Environmental activists Evgeny Vitishko and Igor Kharchenko were put in detention last week following unfair proceedings. Amnesty International has recognized both men prisoners of conscience.

Members of their organization, Environmental Watch of Northern Caucasus in Krasnodar, have faced increased harassment by officials for exposing the destruction of areas of outstanding natural beauty to make room for the Olympic sites.

Igor Kharchenko, who went on hunger strike while in detention, was released yesterday. He told Amnesty International that treatment of detainees in the police cell, where he spent the first night of his detention before his transfer to another detention centre to serve his sentence, is atrocious:

“The police don’t give you food or drink; you have to knock on the locked cell door for half an hour to get them to take you to the toilet; if you are thirsty they tell you to drink water from the tap which is just above the toilet seat. It’s cold in the cell – five degrees Celsius – and bitterly freezing at night. There are no beds – just benches 35 cm wide.”

Igor Kharchenko told Amnesty International that police officials constantly use foul language towards detainees. Only two days earlier his colleague, Evgeny Vitishko, was arrested by police and imprisoned for 15 days for allegedly using foul language.

In a separate case, Evgeny is scheduled to appear in court on 12 February in connection with charges relating to his environmental activism in Krasnodar. He may face three years in prison.

AI Index: PRE01/065/2014

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The French Election Result

Macron is shaping as the third major test case, after Bill Clinton, after Tony Blair – on whether the aim of ‘progressive social policy’ and realities of ‘neo-liberal economic settings’ can be made to credibly co-exist within the same sentence, let alone within the decrees from the Elysee Palace. More>>

Werewolf: The Maverick On Moloka’i

Monday, April 17 was Moloka’i’s turn for some face-to-face time with Tulsi Gabbard, who is part Samoan and part haole (pakeha), a practising Hindu, and a Middle East combat veteran. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Snap Election In Britain

The election call is entirely opportunistic and self-serving and will – regardless of the outcome – put Britain in a worse negotiating position for managing its Brexit. More>>

Turkey: Observers Say Erdogan’s Constitutional Referendum Flawed

Lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms created unlevel playing field in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, international observers say. More>>

ALSO:

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news