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In 2021, the International Ice Hockey Federation is to host the Ice Hockey World Championship in Latvia and Belarus
American congressmen and members of parliaments of several European countries have addressed an open letter to the International Ice Hockey Federation with a request to deprive Belarus of the right to host the World Ice Hockey Championship in 2021.
“We, members of Congress and parliamentarians, believe that Belarus has lost this privilege due to the level of violence that government forces have used against their citizens. Presidential elections were held in Belarus, which have since been recognized worldwide as rigged. Protesters, journalists and civil society representatives have withstood enormous violence from Alexander Lukashenko and the now illegal government that he heads. We join them in demanding to bear responsibility for these crimes, ”the letter says..
Legislators believe that the voice of the Belarusian people should be heard, the violence from the regime stopped, all detainees were released, Lukashenka should start negotiations with the Coordination Council, and new elections are organized in the country based on international standards with the participation of international observers..
“We ask you to reconsider the possibility of holding the Ice Hockey World Championship in Belarus next year. Belarus, like any other country that does not embody the ethics of sportsmanship and human rights, should not enjoy the privilege of holding such a coveted event until the rights, freedoms and sovereignty of their people are fully respected and represented by their government ”, – emphasize the authors of the letter.
The appeal was signed, among others, by Congressmen William Keating, Nancy Kaptur, Adam Kinzinger, as well as members of the parliaments of Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Great Britain, Czech Republic and Denmark.
Latvia is the second country to host the Ice Hockey World Championship next year.
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