Christian Solidarity International is urging the International Olympic Committee to prohibit Azerbaijan’s national team and government officials from participating in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The IOC has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. wikipedia
Christian Solidarity International (CSI), a Christian human rights organization, is urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to prohibit Azerbaijan’s national team and government officials from participating in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
In a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach, CSI argues that the move is warranted, in light of Baku’s ethnic cleansing of the Armenian Christian population of Nagorno Karabakh following its military takeover in September, its ongoing military occupation of swathes of the Republic of Armenia and threats to expand this illegal occupation, and the fact that it is holding dozens of ethnic Armenians hostage.
As CSI points out, Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Nagorno Karabakh has been widely condemned by the international community, with the first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, referring to it as an “act of genocide.”
CSI furthermore calls on the IOC to suspend the membership of Azerbaijan’s National Olympic Committee as long as Azerbaijan’s dictator Ilham Aliyev functions as its president. The Olympic Charter, the letter points out, requires that national committees remain independent of political pressure.
CSI proposes that properly vetted Azerbaijani athletes be allowed to participate as neutrals in the 2024 Olympics without the presence of their national flag and other national or religious symbols. A similar arrangement has been made for athletes from Russia and Belarus for next year’s games, after the IOC excluded those countries over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Rapid implementation of CSI’s recommendations will greatly increase the prospects of Olympic Games in Paris that conform to the IOC’s publicly proclaimed values of ‘Olympism,’” the letter states. “There are well-established precedents for the IOC to take such action in the interest of peace and human dignity.”
The letter is signed by CSI International President John Eibner and CSI-France President Angélique Gourlay.