Friday, April 6, 2012

Saudi Arabia: Sports Minister Confirms Women’s Exclusion

Time Running Out for IOC to Roll Back Saudi Discrimination

Human Rights Watch
April 5, 2012

"(Beirut) – The Saudi sports minister and head of the Saudi National Olympic Committee confirmed on April 4, 2012, that Saudi Arabia will not support women in practicing sports. Prince Nawwaf al-Faisal said: “Female sports activity has not existed [in the kingdom] and there is no move thereto in this regard.”

“At present, we are not embracing any female Saudi participation in the Olympics or other international championships,” Prince Nawwaf continued.

“If the International Olympic Committee was looking for an official affirmation of Saudi discrimination against women in sports, the minister in charge just gave it,” said Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It is impossible to square Saudi discrimination against women with the noble values of the Olympic Charter.”....."

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