Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Are sponsors of 2014 IIHF World Championship in Belarus spoil their reputation?

No self-respecting firm will support the championship in the dictatorial country where people get in prison for their political views.

This statement was made by Martin Uggla, the head of the Sweden-based human rights organisation Östgruppen, to comment to charter97.org on the appeal of the international organisations to sponsors of the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship in Belarus.

[b]Martin Uggla[/b]: Supporting this event will inevitably be associated with the authoritarian regime. No self-respecting firm will want to spoil its reputation,"[/i] the human rights activist is confident.


He stressed sponsors should not forget about their status and reputation in society and the world despite financial and promotional interests.

"Our organisation stands for cancelling the Ice Hockey World Championship in Belarus. We will struggle to the end, though it is not an easy task. While certain people are interested only in the financial aspect, we call to look at the moral side of the issue. I hope the world community will hear our voices and we will be able to influence the situation. In any case, we will attract public attention to problems in Belarus: numerous violations of human rights, political prisoners and the death penalty. People, also those going to back the event, should hear and understand it, " Martin Uggla said.

Human rights activists and international organisations stand against holding the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk. Many European and American politicians supported the idea of moving the championship to another country. Some countries may boycott the event in Minsk due to repressions carried out by the Belarusian authorities.