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Olympic Games

BRAZIL: 2016 Summer Olympics

In June 2013 huge demonstrations that took place in dozens of cities in Brazil through which people expressed their discontent with increased public transportation costs, high World Cup spending and insufficient investment in public services. The police response to the wave of protests in 2013 was, in many instances, violent and abusive. Military police units used tear gas indiscriminately against protesters, fired rubber bullets at people who posed no threat and beat people with hand-held batons. Hundreds were injured and hundreds more were indiscriminately rounded up and detained, some under laws targeting organized crime, without any indication that they were involved in criminal activity. In May 2014, Amnesty International launched the campaign “No foul play, Brazil” warning about restrictions to freedom of expression and police abuses during protests and urging the authorities to ensure security forces “play by the rules” during demonstrations expected to take place ahead and during the World Cup 2014.
Military police arrest a demonstrator during a protest against the 2014 World Cup Football in Sao Paulo, June 2013. © Mídia Ninja

In 2016, the Summer Olympics are held in Brazil. This requires a great effort: building sports facilities, hotels and infrastructure. A lot needs to be done, also in the field of human rights. For example to prevent excessive police force against peaceful demonstrators. In Brazil, demonstrators are arbitrarily detained and labelled as criminals by charging them with ‘criminal offences’. Prison conditions are extremely harsh due to overcrowding, violence and torture. The rights of indigenous peoples are frequently violated. And even though gay marriage is legalized in Brazil, lesbians, gays and transgenders widely suffer from discrimination and violence.

Read about the right to protest in Brazil: Brazil: “They use a strategy of fear”- Protecting the rights to protest in Brazil

Excessive police violence

Extrajudicial executions at the hands of police officials are frequent in Brazil. In the context of the so-called “war on drugs”, military police forces have unnecessarily and excessively used lethal force, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people over the past decade. The authorities often use the legal term of “resistance followed by death” as a smokescreen to cover up killings committed by the police officers.
Nearly 16 percent of the total homicides registered in Rio de Janeiro in the last five years took place at the hands of on-duty police officers – 1,519 in total. Only in the favela of Acari, in the north of the city, Amnesty International found evidence that strongly suggests the occurrence of extrajudicial executions in at least 9 out of 10 killings committed by the military police in 2014. The majority of victims of police killings registered from 2010 to 2013 are young black men of between 15 and 29 years of age.

Read more about police violence in: Brazil: You killed my son: Homicides by military police in the city of Rio de Janeiro

 

Categories
Olympic Games

SOUTH KOREA: 2018 Winter Olympics

Participants attend an event marking the three-year countdown to the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics at Alpensia Ski Jumping Center in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. The organizing committee celebrated Monday's milestone with an event at Pyeongchang's ski jumping center and Olympic stadium site. Kim Jong, an official with South Korea's sports ministry, said officials are "at a critical point" in preparations for the games, which will run from Feb. 9-25, 2018. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Han Jong-chan)  KOREA OUT
Participants attend an event marking the three-year countdown to the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics at Alpensia Ski Jumping Center in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. © AP Photo/Yonhap, Han Jong-chan

In 2018, the Winter Olympics are being held in South Korea. Some victories are desired for human rights in that country. The rights of migrant workers are severely violated in South Korea. They have very long working hours and are underpaid. They don’t get any days off or holidays and they live in bad housing conditions. Trade unions are obstructed in their work. The freedom of expression is repressed as well. The National Security Law is used to intimidate and arrest critical activists and politicians.

Read more about human rights in South Korea >

Categories
Olympic Games

JAPAN: 2020 Summer Olympics

Bildnummer: 15024492  Datum: 14.11.2013  Copyright: imago/AFLOSPORT Naoki Inose, Tsunekazu Takeda, NOVEMBER 14, 2013 : Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President Tsunekazu Takeda and Naoki Inose Governor of Tokyo attend the IOC/Tokyo 2020 Orientation Seminar for Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 at Ajinomoto National traning center, Tokyo, Japan. Noxthirdxpartyxsales PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxPOLxRUSxSWExFRAxNEDxESPxONLY (qdwa028606); OS Sommer Spiele Sommerspiele premiumd x0x xsk 2013 quer Japan Tokyo IOC/Tokyo 2020 Orientation Seminar Olympics Olympic Games  Image number 15024492 date 14 11 2013 Copyright imago AFLOSPORT Naoki  Tsunekazu Takeda November 14 2013 Japanese Olympic Committee Joc President Tsunekazu Takeda and Naoki  Governor of Tokyo attend The IOC Tokyo 2020 orientation Seminar for Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 AT Ajinomoto National traning Center Tokyo Japan  PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxPOLxRUSxSWExFRAxNEDxESPxONLY  OS Summer Games Summer Games premiumd x0x xsk 2013 horizontal Japan Tokyo IOC Tokyo 2020 orientation Seminar Olympics Olympic Games
Japanese Olympic Committee Joc President Tsunekazu Takeda and Naoki Governor of Tokyo attend the IOC Tokyo 2020 Orientation Seminar © Imago/AFLOSPORT

The human rights situation in the host country of the 2020 Summer Olympics seems to be deteriorating. The government fails to effectively address discrimination against foreigners. The asylum procedure is too strict; in 2013 only six out of 3.700 applicants were granted asylum. The Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, which came into force in December 2014, could be used to limit access to information that citizens need to hold their government accountable for their acts. And Japan still upholds the death penalty.

For now, Amnesty is not concerned that human rights violations will take place in association with the sporting event.

Read more about human rights in Japan >

Categories
Football Olympic Games

CHINA: 2022 Winter Olympics and candidate 2026 World Cup Football

Chinese paramilitary policemen patrol near the National Stadium or Bird's Nest at the Olympic Green in Beijing July 26, 2008, just 13 days to go before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged China on Saturday not to use security concerns over next month's Olympics as a cover to crush political dissent. There has been a security clampdown in China ahead of the Aug. 8-24 Olympics. Some human rights groups, however, say the Chinese authorities have overreacted to security threats and used it as a way to crack down on political dissidents.  REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV    (CHINA)  (BEIJING OLYMPICS 2008 PREVIEW) - RTX8502
Chinese paramilitary policemen patrol near the National Stadium or Bird’s Nest at the Olympic Green in Beijing two weeks before the start of the Olympic Games in 2008. © REUTERS/Claro Cortes

China has a strong influence in the world. This is one of the reasons why it is so alarming that the country, candidate for organizing the 2022 Winter Olympics and 2026 World Cup, barely complies with human rights. The freedoms of expression, religion and assembly are highly curtailed. China’s system of internet censorship is believed to be the most advanced in the world. Everyone who fights for human rights risks intimidation, detention and torture. The death penalty is handed down more often in China than in all other countries of the world combined. The Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics brought increased repression to the entire country.

In 2022 the Winter Olympics are being held in China; when the host for the World Cup will be chosen is yet unknown.

Read more about human rights in China >

Read our reaction to the selection of China for the Winter Olympics >

Categories
Football Olympic Games

KAZACHSTAN: candidate 2026 World Cup Football

Andrey Kryukov, Vice Chairman of the Almaty 2022 bid committee, speaks to journalists after the presentation of the Kazakhstan Almaty 2022 Winter Olympics bid for IOC members at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. With the vote less than two months away on who hosts the 2022 Winter Olympics, Kazakh and Chinese leaders are presenting their bids directly to the IOC members who will decide between two starkly different choices. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)
Andrey Kryukov, Vice Chairman of the Almaty 2022 bid committee, speaks to journalists after the presentation of the Kazakhstan Almaty 2022 Winter Olympics bid for IOC members, June 9, 2015.  On 31 July 2015 it was announced that China will host the Winter Olympics. © Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP

Kazachstan is candidate for hosting the World Cup Football in 2026. The human rights record of the country is poor. Beautiful words cover up bad practices: Kazachstan “will not rest until torture is completely eliminated”, the government announced. But torture is still taking place. The freedom of expression, association and assembly are restricted. Peaceful protesters are arrested, independent organizations are obstructed in their work, newspapers are forbidden, and social media are blocked. A law that bans propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations – read: homosexuality – is ready to be signed by the President.

When the host for the World Cup will be chosen is yet unknown.

Read more about human rights in Kazachstan >

Categories
Olympic Games

AZERBAIJAN: 2015 European Games

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - MARCH 18:   Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev  inspects the stadium during the opening of the Baku Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan on March 18, 2015. The first European Games will be held in Baku Olympic Stadium. (Photo by Azerbaijaini Presidency / Vugar Amrullayev/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev inspects the Baku Olympic Stadium, where the first European Games will be held. © Azerbaijani Presidency / Vugar Amrullayev/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

‘All fundamental freedoms are honoured in Azerbaijan,’ said President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan in June 2014. Solemn words. But not true.

In Azerbaijan, human rights defenders, journalists, politicians and bloggers are arrested, detained and silenced. While the spotlights are on the country during the first European Games in June 2015, the repression only gets worse. New laws enable the Azeri authorities to stifle any form of criticism. At least 20 people are detained because they peacefully exercized their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

Read more about human rights in Azerbaijan >