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Statement of High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation regarding CAS decision

24 August 2016
Statement of High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation regarding CAS decision

The decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that ruled to ban Russian athletes from the Rio Paralympic Games is unlawful, immoral and cynical. It roughly violates human and civil rights.

The disabled people, who had been dreaming to show their will and courage, were cruelly and unfairly punished without any evidence of guilt.

Astonishment and indignation were those feelings that could best characterise my state of mind when I learnt that our paralympic athletes would be banned from the Rio Paralympic Games.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), having revoked the presumption of innocence  and having introduced a concept of shared responsibility by its decision, defied the fundamental standards of jurisprudence.

Universal rules of ethical conduct do not tolerate not only a word but even a hint that could impair rights of the disabled. Still, the IPC’s and CAS’s decisions not only deprived thousands of our fellow citizens of a hope to celebrate the Games, but also inflicted a heavy psychological injury to the hundreds of people with disabilities.

It is well known that many people with disabilities suffer from a complex thinking that they are not wanted in the society. Many, but not all of them. And the people who managed to overcome themselves, their disability, and to achieve outstanding success in sports are the paralympic athletes. They are people with a capital P. They are true nationals of their country and real athletes. Their examples give hope to dozens of thousands of the disabled and by showing that persistency and courage can help to find your way in life even in almost a desperate situation.

Once again this decision shows the double standards of the West applied towards our country. The standards which easily defy universally accepted legal rules, as well as universally acknowledged ethical standards.

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