Swedish Olympic Committee member: Chinese human rights violations not a concern

Gunilla Lindberg doesn’t agree with the IOC criticism – Photo: GamesBids

The Swedish IOC-member (International Olympic Committee) Gunilla Lindberg defends the decision of having the Winter Olympics in Beijing despite criticism and boycotts of the games.

Both politicians and organizations have criticized the decision of placing the event in China who among other human rights violations are accused of persecuting the Muslim Uighur minority group. Already 180 human rights organizations have boycotted the event.

Despite the obvious protests against it, the Swedish IOC-member Gunilla Sandberg doesn’t believe this is a problem which should be a concern for an event like the Olympic Games.

“This should not be a responsibility of the IOC. IOC is not a political organization,” Gunilla says.

Gunilla believes that isolating China can in fact aggravate the situation in the country.

This belief is not shared by everyone in the sporting world in Sweden, however. Swedish ski star Sebastian Samuelson thinks that China isn’t a respectable choice for an Olympic games host. On twitter he criticizes the comments made by Gunilla.

“Everyone involved should ensure that countries like this (China) doesn’t host championships in the future. And for this reason, these comments made by Lindberg are dangerous,” Sebastian Samuelson wrote in a tweet.

The tweet then goes on to say.

“That being said, you must have two things in mind at the same time. I think that having the Olympics in China is despicable. But it is also the biggest competition in a career. It cannot be up to every single athlete to choose whether to go or not. IOC is more or less forcing us to do that,” Samuelson writes.


About Lasse Sandholdt

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Lasse Sandholdt

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