TBILISI, DFWatch–A petition launched today in Georgia demanding to boycott the Sochi Olympics has quickly gathered more than 1500 signatures.
The petition, which originates in Tbilisi’s NGO circles, appeals to Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, Sports Minister Levan Kipiani and the president of Georgia’s National Olympic Committee, Leri Khavelovi, to change the decision to participate in the Sochi Olympics, on the background of Russia’s attempts to expand the area of Georgian territory it took control over in the 2008 war.
The petition appears to be a citizen’s initiative, but several NGO spokespersons are among the first signatories. It recalls recent activity by Russian soldiers in villages which lie along the delineation line to Russian-controlled territory. A large part of agriculture lands, and also irrigation canals, ended up on the other side with the latest Russian moves.
Signatories also recall the decision to have a Russian ‘war hero’, a pilot in Russia-Georgia war of August 2008, as one of the first torch bearers for the Olympics.
“We think that a protest against the Sochi Olympics will be an adequate step by the Georgian government and to respond to Russia’s violation of international obligations and international norms,” the petition reads, continuing that the protest will also be a message to the world that Georgia will never accept Russia’s occupation of Georgian territories.
Apart from members of Transparency International and ISFED, among the other signatories are journalists, actors and singers.
Nino Lomjaria from ISFED today said at a press conference that there may be organized rallies against Georgia’s participation at Sochi.