MIL-OSI USA: News 03/13/2024 Blackburn To International Olympic Committee: Ban Iran From Participating In 2024 Olympics

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US Senate News:

Source: United States Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) today sent a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach requesting that they ban Iran from formally participating in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris over the regime’s abuse of athletes and violation of the Olympic Charter.

The IOC Must Send A Strong Message And Exclude Iran From The Games Until They Halt Human Rights Abuses

“As the eyes of the world turn toward Paris in anticipation of the Games, the IOC must immediately sanction Iran and send a resolute message: abuse of athletes and violation of the Olympic Charter will not be tolerated. Iran is governed by an evil regime that systematically victimizes its own citizens, particularly women and girls. Violence permeates every aspect of life for Iranian women. While the horrific murder of Mahsa Amini—the 22-year-old young woman killed by the Iranian morality police simply for refusing to wear a head covering—was a prominent example of this systemic violence, countless Iranians face these human rights abuses every day.”

Iranian Athletes Are Not Immune From Persecution By The Regime

“Athletes are not immune from persecution in Iran. In fact, Iran has only one female Olympic medalist, Kimia Alizadeh. This disparity is not due to a lack of talent. Rather, it is a direct result of the oppression and abuse female athletes in Iran face—the very oppression and abuse that forced Alizadeh to later defect. Wearing the hijab is forced in sports, and Iranian women are banned from participating in sports central to the summer Games, like gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, and boxing. Worse yet are the examples of athletes who have been harmed, imprisoned, or murdered simply for speaking out against the Regime’s injustices.”

Iran’s Abuses Of Women And Opposition Violates The Olympic Charter

For centuries, sports have empowered the powerless and catalyzed change. Indeed, the Olympics bring the world together and place sport at the service of humankind. According to the Olympic Charter, “the practice of sport is a human right.” The Olympic Charter also makes clear that the goal of the Olympics is to “promote a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” In direct violation of this charter, the Iranian Regime routinely prevents women from participating in sports, and they even murder and arrest those who do not conform to their standards. Similarly, Iran has no interest in promoting a peaceful society, as they proudly remain the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and are currently funding attacks on U.S. troops abroad and on Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.”

Click here to view the full letter.