Press release: MEP Karin Karlsbro is collecting signatures to stop Belarusian co-hosting of the 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship

MEP Karin Karlsbro (Swedish Liberal Party) has sent out to the European Parliament a call for signatures on a letter addressed to the International Ice Hockey Federation and its president, René Fassel. Karlsbro is in the letter requesting for the immediate termination of the Belarusian co-hosting of the 2021 World Championship, scheduled to be held in Minsk and Riga. 

“Sports should not be politics, but that is no excuse to turn to the blind eye towards what is currently happening in Belarus. We cannot hold a world championship in arenas with protesters being arrested and tortured in the streets outside. To support a regime that is using weapons against their own population is completely unacceptable”, says Karin Karlsbro (Swedish Liberal Party). 

The situation in Belarus has grown more tense ever since the fraudulent election on August 9th, in which dictator Aljaksandr Lukasjenka named himself victoror. Ever since, protesters have been captivated, arrested, and tortured by Belarusian police force. 

There are also strong suspicions that Dzmitryj Baskau, president of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation and active supporter of the Lukasjenka regime, has participated in the oppression and abuse of protesters. 

That the president of the Belarusian ice hockey federation is associated with these horrible 

attacks on peaceful protesters is very serious. It should be no question for the International Ice Hockey Federation to terminate all collaboration with Baskau until an independent investigation has been made. It is unacceptable that no actions have been taken in the matter”, Karlsbro concludes. 

Please find the letter written attached here.