Human Rights Watch Demands IOC Presidential Candidates Reveal Steps They Would Take on Russia

A new president of the International Olympic Committee is set to be chosen next month and Human Rights Watch has revealed that it and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have sent a letter to the IOC demanding that candidates for the position reveal what their steps would be with regard to the Sochi 2014 Games and Russia's anti-gay laws.

They write:

The letter was sent ahead of the election of the successor to current IOC president, Jacques Rogge, at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentinaon September 10. On August 23, Roggewill speak in New York City at the United Nations for the “International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.”

“With less than six months before the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games, the Olympic Movement is facing a crisis over Russia’s failure to respect the Olympic Charter in Sochi,” said Minky Worden, director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch. “Just as the IOC assesses ice rinks and ski jumps, the new Olympics leader needs to press Russia to repeal a discriminatory law and address human rights violations before the Sochi Games.”

The six candidates for the IOC presidency are Thomas Bach (Germany), Sergey Bubka (Russia), Richard Carrión (Puerto Rico), Ser Miang Ng (Singapore), Denis Oswald (Switzerland), and Ching-Kuo Wu (Taiwan).

In the August 2 joint letter, Human Rights Watch and CPJ asked candidates to share their positions on human rights concerns, including urgent issues related to the Sochi Games.

Read their full letter here.