World Bulletin/News Desk
Finland's sports and culture minister will boycott the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month due to concerns over Russia's human rights violations.
"As a politician... one must not support violations of human rights, limitations in the freedom of speech or repressing of sexual minorities," Paavo Arhinmaki, who is also chairman of the Finnish Leftist Alliance party, said in a television interview with public broadcaster YLE.
He also criticised global sports community.
"This is a very big problem in the sports community, as these issues are not taken into account when deciding on venues," he added.
"The world ice hockey championships will be played in Belarus, the last dictatorship in Europe. The football World Cup is being built in Qatar with slave work."
According to YLE, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen have both said they would attend the opening ceremony being held on Feb. 7.Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2014, 12:00