Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

German MPs call for stripping Belarus of right to host world hockey championship


Two senior members of the faction of Alliance90/The Greens in Germanys Bundestag called on Friday for stripping Belarus of the right to host the World Ice Hockey Championship in 2014.

In a statement, Marieluise Beck and Viola von Cramon said that the International Ice Hockey Federation should reverse its decision to hold the event in Belarus following the "further toughening of Belarusian laws, which leads to the suppression of civil society and the opposition".

The German MPs referred to the "secret decisions by the puppet parliament" to approve amendments to the Mass Events Law and laws governing the operation of political parties and NGOs, as well as a bill of amendments to the law governing the operation of the Committee for State Security (KGB) that is expected to pass the legislature soon.

"Now human rights abuse is allowed by law in Belarus. However, until now they also interfered with open protests and persecuted civil society. The KGB and security forces subjected critics of the regime to torture and, of course, liquidated opponents under the regimes orders. Now these violations of democracy and human rights are legalized," the statement said.

The controversial bills are evidence of Alyaksandr Lukashenkas fear of "possible protests by the public amid a deep economic crisis," the MPs said.

"A country that so obviously walks all over democracy and human rights cannot be a worthy host of the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship," Mses. Beck and von Cramon warned.

The same call was earlier made by Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Parliament.