Russia | Sochi Olympics

Russian Government Intimidating Journalists And Activists Before The Olympics

Sochi Olympic Rings

News sites everywhere have been documenting the issues in Russia surrounding the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, including abuse of migrant workers, the health and environmental impacts of construction, and the rather severe problem Russia has with homosexuality. Russia's response to this dissent has been to try to intimidate and abuse journalists and activists, particularly in the lead up to the Olympic Games.

Human Rights Watch has extensive coverage of these abuses and includes accounts of the Sochi Branch of the Russian Geographic Society having its funding threatened, rejection of the Sochi Pride House, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on websites critical of the government and the Olympics, and several individual journalists and activists being threatened by government officials.

Rule 48 of the IOC bye-laws explicitly states: 

The IOC takes all necessary steps in order to ensure the fullest coverage by the different media and the widest possible audience in the world for the Olympic Games.

Russia's treatment of journalists may wind up causing even more complications for the IOC as these abuses run directly counter to the bye-laws the IOC are obligated to uphold.

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  1. Obama says it's happening. Keep digging. At one point someone is going to say, "Shut that kid up!"

    Posted by: Dan | Aug 9, 2013 5:33:35 PM

  2. this has been well documented in the media. russia decided to draw a line, then dared the world to cross it. comments denouncing russia made by western government officials have been the only response, and russia sits defiant, smiling at the inaction.

    so when will someone make a stand for the victims of russia's behavior? what will it take? where are other oppressed minorities, and why are they not standing in vocal opposition with glbt groups? has so little changed for glbt rights, this behavior is still deemed acceptable?

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 9, 2013 5:53:45 PM

  3. "bye-laws"?

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Aug 9, 2013 6:01:05 PM

  4. bye-bye laws

    Posted by: David | Aug 9, 2013 6:02:25 PM

  5. I am weary of these figures asking / demanding "safety" for the athletes and visitors to the Sochi Games; that issue is completely secondary to the FACT of these laws and the government-sanctioned kidnapping, brutalization, torture and now death of Russia's LGBT citizens.

    The Games should be moved to Vancouver. Period. That being said, I'm not seeing the call for that made loudly and stridently enough to shake the corrupt roots of the IOC. So, should the Games remain in Sochi, I am adamant that an international movement be created such that virtually every spectator - at least from the supposed "free world," shows stark and un-ignorable visual support for the LGBT Russians and condemnation of Russia's anti-gay laws and the aggressive support those laws are finding in the roving bands of police and thugs.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Aug 9, 2013 6:06:26 PM

  6. That's the way they roll there. It's not the United States, so realize that. It's called a foreign country. You can't tell your mother if you see something bad. You think the entire world will come to your defense. "Gay" doesn't pull a lot of weight unfortunately.

    Posted by: Dan | Aug 9, 2013 6:24:32 PM

  7. @ Dan

    If you know your neighbor is abusing his children, even if you think the neighborhood and the local cops love that neighbor and it'll be hard to try and stop him, do you just shrug your shoulders, go to a party he's throwing, have a good time, and then go home and keep quiet?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Aug 9, 2013 6:48:13 PM

  8. Perfect, BobbyJoe

    Posted by: Mikey | Aug 9, 2013 7:06:00 PM

  9. IOC: way to go, comrade Russian! To bad Franco was such a wimp.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 9, 2013 7:15:09 PM

  10. I want to see many gay activists arrested in Russia at the upcoming Olympics. Imagine the humiliations Russia will have to face.

    Posted by: AndyTowlette | Aug 9, 2013 7:17:34 PM

  11. Your definition of humiliation doesn't apply to Russia. You may be delighted but most won't give a sh-t.

    Posted by: Dan | Aug 9, 2013 7:43:29 PM

  12. Bobbyjoe: I would never live next to a family with children. High rise or condo for me. If you want to play the "if" game to justify yourself run with it. Assignment: Find a reason to hate Russia!

    Posted by: Dan | Aug 9, 2013 7:46:15 PM

  13. From Dan:"I would never live next to a family with children."

    Dan's assignment: Find a reason to hate children.

    Posted by: talibaptist | Aug 9, 2013 7:58:03 PM

  14. Don't use children to further your cause. Can you produce children with another man? I don't hate children, I just don't aspire to a heterosexual way of life. I'm not one of your marriage clones.

    Posted by: Dan | Aug 9, 2013 10:05:26 PM

  15. America, f*ck yeah, World Police !

    Ooozing hypocrisy and nauseating self righteous indignation.

    You'll type and type and FEEL passionately, but what will any of you DO for Russian LGBT ? I'll tell you what. Absolutely NOTHING but make the responsibility somebody else's. It's laughable and pathetic.

    What about the people Russia drove out of the area who have been persecuted all over the Middle East, murdered, exploited, what about them ? You could really care less, because it's all about gay, gay, gay, gay, gay.

    Wake up my silly fagot brothers and sisters, it isn't about you all the time.

    Posted by: iPuke | Aug 9, 2013 10:52:24 PM

  16. @ Dan aka troll
    Gay is pulling more weight in society than ever before. Be afraid, be VERY afraid. We gays are a mother effing powerful bunch with a voice more strengthened than ever. Know who you're up against boo.

    Posted by: C.J | Aug 10, 2013 1:44:15 AM

  17. Proud that this story is gaining HUGE pull, attention, and getting so much coverage in a few weeks that the Russians cant help but having to constantly respond. PROUD OF YOU LGBT! This is why we're winning everything we've out our minds to

    Posted by: Derek | Aug 10, 2013 1:46:27 AM

  18. Keep up the pressure, gay brothers and sisters. Amazing developments being made here.

    Posted by: Klien | Aug 10, 2013 1:47:05 AM

  19. lol dan's gonna get a terminal disease with all the gay issues that our community has put on the map and will continue to put on the map. we're not a community to be messed with anymore. dan, let the stress of it all give you a terminal disease :) and it will. I assure you it will :)

    Posted by: Dat Dude | Aug 10, 2013 1:49:09 AM

  20. Dan: He doesn't have to find a reason to justifie, you are the one talking nonsense.

    If people stay quite to injustices nothing change

    Posted by: jjose712 | Aug 10, 2013 6:09:32 AM

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