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German President Boycotts Sochi Olympics Over Russia's Human Rights Violations

German President Joachim Gauck is the first world leader to boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics, the Guardian reports:

GauckAccording to German weekly Der Spiegel, Joachim Gauck last week informed the Kremlin of his decision, which is understood to be a response to the Russian government's violations of human rights and harrassment of the opposition.

Gauck, a former Lutheran pastor who played a key part in the East German protest movement before the fall of the Berlin Wall, has declined any official visits to Russia since coming to office in March 2012 and repeatedly criticised the country's "deficit of rule of law" and "air of imperialism".

In June, a scheduled meeting between Gauck and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, was cancelled – supposedly because of clashing schedules. Gauck had visited both the Olympics and the Paralympics in London last summer.

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Comments

  1. But I thought handing billions of dollars over to a corrupt government that violates it's own citizens human rights, AND giving them the honor of hosting the Olympics, all for the sake of "being visible" was better than boycotting!?

    I thought the idea that a few hundred athletes who weren't even guaranteed a medal in the first place, were more important than the millions of Russian LGBTs being oppressed and scapegoated?

    Medals VS. The rights of millions, isn't the decision obvious????

    Good to see that the President of Germany hasn't lost his head as well.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 8, 2013 10:18:49 AM


  2. At last. Now the entire country of Germany needs to boycott and we can get this ball rolling!

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Dec 8, 2013 10:19:27 AM


  3. Thank you President Gauck!

    I certainly believe this is probably the MOST important voice out there ready-and-willing to condemn Putin's Russia.

    The Honorable Gauck and his countrymen KNOW A THING OR TWO about government sponsored Genocide

    ...which is Putin and Huckster Kirill seem to have forgotten, or just simply long for.

    So, thank you sir! I hope other leaders will be bold enough to follow.

    Posted by: Q | Dec 8, 2013 10:40:41 AM


  4. Finally! A world leader with some cojones. I hate that athletes would not get to fulfill their dreams if a real boycott were to take place, but the needs of the many should always outweigh the needs (in this case wants) of the few.

    Posted by: Ken | Dec 8, 2013 10:44:00 AM


  5. Nice for the head of the Russian parliament's foreign delegation to tweet, "The German president Gauck has not criticized the killing of children and women in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But he is so critical of Russia that he doesn't even want to travel to Sochi."

    Umm, yeah. I don't recall Russia weeping when it invaded Afghanistan and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of refugees. Repeatedly.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 8, 2013 11:00:17 AM


  6. That's awesome. And GERMANY? Come on, world.

    Posted by: Tiger | Dec 8, 2013 11:26:27 AM


  7. Thank you President Gauck!

    Posted by: dearcomrade | Dec 8, 2013 11:35:41 AM


  8. Thank for your standing for something, President Gauck. Few do, anymore.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 8, 2013 11:58:02 AM


  9. While everyone here is going all ironic on Germany, be advised that Russia's Joseph Stalin killed 40 million to Hitler's 30 million.

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Dec 8, 2013 12:15:04 PM


  10. @Hansel Currywurst. Have you even bothered to read the previous comments. Thank you President Glauk.

    Posted by: bollox | Dec 8, 2013 12:29:29 PM


  11. Hansel Moron; And your point is what????

    Hey, Idea! Why don't you get back to us when PUTIN does what Gauck has done? Then, and ONLY then would your post make any sense.

    Until then, you are just another idiot swimming in a pool waaaaay over your head

    Posted by: Q | Dec 8, 2013 12:30:10 PM


  12. Thank you President Gauck! You've renewed my faith in humanity a bit, and are a champion to me. Thank you.

    Posted by: Basil | Dec 8, 2013 12:59:43 PM


  13. Now, if he and Westerwelle could only get their own government to stop denying marriage to gay people.
    The real head of state in Germany is not the president. It's chancellor Angela Merkel, who continues to thwart gay marriage and is not in favor of boycotting the Sochi games.

    Posted by: woody | Dec 8, 2013 1:01:12 PM


  14. Bollox and Q: Your ability to detect the irony implied by the posters previous to me is nil. Their comments were effectively "Thanks President Gauck, but... you know... Germany... Hitler... Pot/Kettle/Black?" My comment was factual; do what you want with those facts.

    By the way, China's Chairman Mao is the high-scorer with 60 million killed.

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Dec 8, 2013 2:13:12 PM


  15. 70 years after WWII, a German president is now showing us how you fight for freedom. We've come a long way since FDR. Remember when corporations didn't own the US government? Good times.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Dec 8, 2013 2:18:39 PM


  16. Thank you, President Gauck, but let's face facts. The real power, the real force to make this boycott work lies with the Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 8, 2013 2:31:52 PM


  17. Who ever wrote this article needs to learn a little about political power. Mr. Haycock is not a world leader. He basically has no power in Germany what so ever. The people don't even vote for him he is appointed. He is just a figure. Chancellor Merkel is the leader of Germany.

    I do applaud what he is doing but let's see it how it is, just a man with the "title" of president but really no power to do anything in Germany.

    Posted by: Troy | Dec 8, 2013 4:09:00 PM


  18. Sorry I misspelled Mr. Gauck. I wrote Haycock. Darn spell check.

    Posted by: Troy | Dec 8, 2013 4:10:41 PM


  19. I hope Germany and Russia can solve their problems without fighting.

    Posted by: Kev C | Dec 8, 2013 4:45:12 PM


  20. Germany has a special obligation to stand up against such things, given its history.

    He did the right thing!

    Posted by: Gay Guy | Dec 8, 2013 5:20:11 PM


  21. US presidents almost never attend the Olympics. Biden might go, but normally a congressional delegation and some State Dept. bigwigs attend.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 8, 2013 7:33:35 PM


  22. Thank you President Gauck.

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 8, 2013 8:40:11 PM


  23. Good show!

    Posted by: FFS | Dec 8, 2013 9:14:10 PM


  24. ANON -- Bush Jr. went to the Beijing olympics (and had a little too much to drink, even though he says he doesn't drink). See for yourself:

    http://gawker.com/5035885/bush-looking-drunk-at-the-olympics

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Dec 9, 2013 9:14:27 AM


  25. Thank you President Gauck.

    Posted by: TheSeer | Dec 9, 2013 3:06:38 PM


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