Swedish Sports Minister, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. Montage: Sveriges Radio

Minister: Sochi should not have been given Olympics

Sweden's Sports Minister, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, said Thursday that the 2014 Winter Olympic Games should not have been awarded to Sochi in Russia.

She had previously stated she would not go to the opening ceremony of the games, February 7, for political reasons, but on Thursday she told media that the games should "absolutely not" have been given to the Russian town.

"There is a lack of human rights. There is harassment of dissidents, sanctioned from above. The enactment of new laws that prevent and restrict freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and press freedom," says Lena Adelsohn Roth to news agency TT.

Sochi has proven a controversial venue for the games following reports of human rights abuses, and recent legislation against the "promotion" of homosexuality.

In the future, Sweden's Sports Minister hopes that the IOC takes more account of human rights and freedoms when designating Olympic hosts.

"I hope that the IOC weighs up more aspects when assigning a country the Olympics and not only looks at the economics, but also takes into account the environmental aspects and how to handle guest workers, for example. You should probably ask very many questions and a few guarantees that the games are conducted fairly," she told TT.

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