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Łukasz Grajewski

Belarus: Hockey Controversy

The number of European organisations demanding suspension of the World Ice Hockey Championship held in Belarus in 2014 is growing.

Youth national team of Belarus, author: Belarusian Ice Hockey Association, source: facebook

Violations of human rights, persistent jailing of oppositionists and a lack of democratic elections – these are the most frequently mentioned arguments in petitions regarding cancelation of the Ice Championship in 2014. MEPs Peter Stastny – a former Czechoslovak hockey star of the 1980s and 1990s who played in NHL – and Marek Migalski are encouraging to sign the petition through the web service Migalski also leads a campaign, together with Free Belarus Now, called “Zostawmy dyktatora na lodzie“ (a Polish idiom using a wordplay including “ice”; figuratively speaking “Hung out the dictator to dry”). Additionally, a pan-European campaign is being prepared by several non-governmental organizations dealing with Belarus. Lobbying actions are directed towards the National Hockey Federations which has a power to decide during the upcoming congress on 17 May whether to suspend the event in Belarus.

Comments on Twitter:

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Łukasz Grajewski

Socjolog, absolwent Studium Europy Wschodniej UW. Pracował w administracji publicznej, aktywny w trzecim sektorze (Fundacja Wspólna Europa, Polska Fundacja im. Roberta Schumana, Inicjatywa Wolna Białoruś). Autor licznych publikacji o Europie Wschodniej w polskich mediach.


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