Senator Durbin: All championships should be withdrawn from Belarus

One of the leaders of the Democratic Party in the US Senate comes up with a proposal on relocating not only the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship from Belarus but other world sporting events as well, including the 2013 cycling championship.

The senator from Illinois criticized the International Ice Hockey Federation and sponsors of the oncoming world championship. He called on «Škoda», «Volkswagen», «Nike» and «Reebok» to cut off funding the holding of the 2014 WIHC in Minsk. «Is it in order to hold such an entertainment event when people who run for the presidency are kept in prison and tortured?» Richard Durbin asks.

The politician compared Belarus to Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Syria, and named several Belarusian political prisoners: Ales Bialiatski, Mikalai Statkevich, Zmitser Dashkevich, Eduard Lobau and Pavel Sevyarynets.

It should be noted that it was the April of 2011 when Richard Durbin put forward the initiative of relocating the 2014 WIHC from Belarus insisting on immediate release of the political prisoners.

As it was reported before, in its resolution adopted on March 29, 2012 the European Parliament called on «the National Ice Hockey Federations of the EU Member States and all other democratic countries to urge the IIHF, including at its next Congress in May in Helsinki, Finland, to re-discuss its earlier decision envisaging the possibility of relocating the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship from Belarus to another host country until all political prisoners, recognised by international human rights organisations as ‘prisoners of conscious’, are released».


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