Ban Azerbaijan National Team and Flag from the Olympics

~ Have you heard about Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of the Christian Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh? ~

Today, Christian Solidarity International (CSI)  has launched a campaign to ban Azerbaijan’s national team and flag from the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, in response to Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh. This atrocity crime was judged to be “an act of genocide,” according to first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, but was barely reported on in the media.

Supporters of the victims of Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing can now easily notify the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and associated national Olympic officials of their opposition to Azerbaijan’s participation in the Paris Olympic Games: link

“Eight months ago, the dictatorship of Azerbaijan wiped out one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.”

CSI’s international president John Eibner

“Eight months ago, the dictatorship of Azerbaijan wiped out one of the oldest Christian communities in the world,” CSI’s international president John Eibner said. “Yet rather than holding Azerbaijan to account for this continuation of the Armenian genocide, the IOC embraces Ilham Aliyev, who is both Azerbaijan’s dictator and the president of Azerbaijan’s Olympic Committee, even as he publicly threatens further military aggression against the Republic of Armenia itself.”

Noting that the IOC excluded Russia and Belarus from the upcoming games after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Eibner said that applying the same standard to Azerbaijan “would demonstrate the IOC’s fidelity to its own values and serve as an important signal that dictators who commit atrocity crimes cannot avoid consequences forever.” 

CSI proposes that properly vetted Azerbaijani athletes be allowed to participate as neutrals in the 2024 Olympics, without their national flag and other national symbols. A similar arrangement has been made for athletes from Russia and Belarus. 

Azerbaijan attacked Nagorno Karabakh in September 2023, after laying siege to the region for nine months. Nagorno Karabakh’s Armenian predominantly Christian population had lived there for thousands of years and had governed themselves in an independent republic since 1994. Virtually the entire population of the region fled to neighboring Armenia to escape Azerbaijan’s takeover.

Eibner also noted that Aliyev’s dual role as President of Azerbaijan and President of Azerbaijan’s National Olympic Committee is in flagrant violation of the Olympic Charter’s requirement that national Olympic committees “preserve their autonomy.” French authorities have also accused Azerbaijan of conducting disinformation campaigns against the Paris Games.

Supporters of CSI’s campaign can take action at: #BanAzerbaijan from the 2024 Olympics!

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