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German President Joachim Gauck boycotting Olympics

Dec. 9, 2013 at 8:23 AM
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BERLIN, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- German President Joachim Gauck said he's boycotting the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to protest human rights abuses.

Gauck told the Kremlin last week he doesn't plan to attend the games due to human rights violations and the harassment of Russian opposition political figures, Der Spiegel reported.

The president joins several athletes and celebrities who have called for a boycott of the Olympics, many due to Russia's recent law banning pro-homosexual propaganda, CNN reported. The law makes even the discussion of homosexuality in front of children illegal.

"I don't think that we should be going to the Olympics at all," Lady Gaga said last week during an interview on the British television show "Alan Carr: Chatty Man." "I just think it is absolutely wrong for so many countries to send money and economy in the way of a country that doesn't support gays."

Alexey Pushkov, the head of Russian Parliament's foreign delegation, attacked Gauck's decision on Twitter, TheLocal.de reported.

"The German President Gauck has not criticized the killing of children and women in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But he is so critical of Russia that he doesn't even want to travel to Sochi," he wrote.

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