Olympic Fallout for 2014

Human rights collateral damage in Russia. Should the Olympics have been awarded to Sochi?

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are still four months away, but residents of this city, the capital of Dagestan, say they have been feeling the effects for months. The Russian authorities, determined not to have the festivities marred by a terrorist attack, are clamping down on the seething North Caucasus region — which lies uncomfortably close to the Olympic city — picking up people suspected of being militants and detaining them without charges, human rights activists say.

The North Caucasus republics of Chechnya and Dagestan, which have long been the sites of an Islamic insurgency and terrorist attacks, are home to the bloodiest current conflict in Europe, the International Crisis Group concluded in a recent report. Last year, the fighting killed at least 700 people and wounded 525, the report said. In the first half of this year, at least 242 people died and 253 were wounded

via NYT Makhachkala Journal


6 thoughts on “Olympic Fallout for 2014”

  1. I am a little concerned with the Olympics in general. With the violent protests over gay marriage rights and threats of terrorism, I cannot help but think this may be a bit of a disaster. The Olympics are a celebration of the world and seem to be the time when the world is most at harmony. (Crazy that sports really do bring the world together). With all of these reports, one cannot help but think that the Olympics this year might not be as harmonious as in previous years. However, there have been many times where the host cities seem to not have their act together (Salt Lake included) that have ultimately turned the situation around. Hopefully four months time is enough to get security and their political issues into a more safe region for this incredible experience we get only every four years!

  2. I agree with the previous post, the Olympics is a time of harmony but security for this event has always been an issue since Munich 1972, when Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and murdered Israeli athletes. I think that awareness on this matter of violence is key in order to prevent it. As long as the security organizations at the Olympics follow the proper precautions that they have been appointed, everything should be fine. As for the citizens living around the Olympic city, the disturbances in their homes is unfortunately a necessary evil. However, they will receive greater benefits in their economy due to the Olympics. Economic growth will come through improvements in infrastructure and tourism.

  3. I honestly had no idea that there was a question about if things would come together for the 2014 Olympics, as they are so close to happening and had heard nothing. This makes me think that it really is not that big of a deal. As both of the people above me have mentioned, once it gets to this point, everyone is a little stressed about whether or not the Olympics will come together, but lately they inevitably always do. The Olympics committee I am sure was well aware that putting the Olympics in Russia period is a stretch and a surprise and could possibly pose a security threat, but they obviously were confidence enough in the security enforcement and ability of the Russians to control the situation that it would be okay. I am honestly not worried about anything happening at this Olympics, as they work hard to make sure things work out. After spending as much money as I am sure Russia has spent on creating everything necessary for the Olympics, there is no way they would not fight to keep it there as the benefits would more than make up for what has already been spent. If they lose the Olympics, it will just go down as millions in wasteful spending which would not be exactly good for the Russian economy.

  4. This would not be the first time that a city has not been fully prepared to host the Olympics. Salt Lake City even had issues months before the Olympics began. But Salt Lake did not have an issue with the government falsely accusing people and holding them without reason. Sochi is right to take precautions on trying to prevent terrorist attacks but accusing people and violating their human rights is not acceptable. I remember being in London before the 2012 olympics and not being able to find a trash can since they did not want people placing bombs in them. At the time I found it annoying to throw my trash away but I knew it was for my security. Human rights can still be protected even when security is increased. I believe Sochi can get their act together and host a great olympic ceremony.

  5. I am very concerned about how the Olympics in Sochi will play out. Given this area of Russia’s history and Islamic insurgencies, I’m a little baffled that the leaders of the Olympic committee would pick this location at all. Of course, there are always threats of attacks at the Olympics, but the close proximity of Sochi to such unstable areas of Russia makes this year’s especially concerning to me. After all, Chechnya, which is very close to Sochi, was the homeland of the Boston bombers, and is a hub for militants with anti-Russian and anti-Western sentiments. Though Russia’s actions in arresting many suspected militants without evidence is certainly a violation of human rights, it may very well prevent attacks that could ensue. For the sake of all the athletes, their families, and the dignitaries that will be attending, I hope that Russia takes every precaution to stop any attacks being planned against the Olympics. They need to be smart about it, though, and protect the rights of citizens as much as possible, lest they create a basis for further violence in the region.

  6. I personally would like to know how Sochi, Russia got the bid in the first place for a city so close to another city with so many problems. I think the committee that decides these things is incredibly irresponsible. Doesn’t this committee get accused of corruption and accepting bribery on a two-year basis (i.e. every time they decide on a new location)? If Russia wanted the Olympics, have it in a safer location! Its just not complicated.
    The fact that Russia tried soft options before resorting to such extreme methods of dealing with potential terrorist threats was good and encouraging. But when resorting to kidnapping and indefinite jail sentences: that’s crazy and is only going to make the terrorists (and the people you wrongly accuse) angrier and potentially more dangerous. I may not know what the right answer is, but I don’t think this is it.

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