Saudi Arabian dictatorial Pentagon allies: no women Olympians

This video says about itself:

Amnesty International accused Saudi government of torture and arbitrary arrest.

From the Daily Mail in England:

Olympic chiefs face fury after Saudi Arabia set to become only team to send no women to Games

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 19:40 GMT, 25 May 2012 | UPDATED: 03:57 GMT, 26 May 2012

Saudi Arabia look likely to be the only nation competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games without a single female among their team.

Having discussed the issue in Quebec yesterday, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) talks resulted in them not imposing any sanctions on the Middle Easterners.

IOC President Jacques Rogge, under pressure from human rights and sports groups to force Saudi Arabia to have female athletes as part of its London delegation, refused to consider the possibility of sanctions against the Gulf state or allow Saudi women to compete under a neutral flag.

‘We are continuing to discuss with them, and their athletes are training and we hope that they will qualify in due time for the Games,’ Rogge said.

‘There is absolutely no reason to consider the participation of Saudi women under an IOC flag,’ he added.

Human Rights Watch’s Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said: ‘Saudi Arabia is the last hold-out denying women and girls the ability to take part in sports.

‘The Saudi government’s position should trigger serious scrutiny by the Olympic family. The dismal and unequal conditions for women and girls who seek to practice sports in Saudi Arabia need to change now.’

The London Games were set to be the first where every nation included a woman in their delegation, but the Saudis seem set to successfully resist such calls.

Earlier this year, Saudi Olympic Committee president Prince Nawaf bin Faisal refused to endorse female participation in the English capital.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabia fielded all-male teams, but this year the former two have confirmed they [sic] female athletes will represent their countries.

Meanwhile the IOC ethics commission is wrestling with a scandal swirling around Pal Schmitt, the former Hungarian president and IOC member accused of plagiarism.

Schmitt, a double Olympic gold medal-winning fencer who ran for the IOC presidency in 2001, could face sanctions after he was stripped of his sports doctorate by Budapest’s Semmelweis University for copying sections of his thesis without proper acknowledgement.

UPDATE: Saudi Arabia caves in over female athletes: here.

14 thoughts on “Saudi Arabian dictatorial Pentagon allies: no women Olympians

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  2. Tue 12 Jun 2012

    Olympic torch is a rich man’s plaything

    The 8,000 people who are going to carry the Olympic torch were supposed to be chosen because they were “inspirational”. But the official list shows hundreds of torchbearers were selected just because they are bigwigs at one of the corporate sponsors.

    Among them is Lakshmi Mittal—the steel tycoon who is Britain’s richest man. Recruitment firm Adecco has sent its chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire. And Samsung has contributed its director and head of IT marketing, Todd Bouman. Truly inspiring.


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  12. The Saudi Olympic Committee has approved four female Saudi athletes to compete as part of the conservative Gulf kingdom’s team at the Rio Olympics, a spokesman said on Sunday.

    Sara Al-Attar, Lubna Al-Omair, Cariman Abu Al-Jadail and Wujud Fahmi will become only the second group of women Olympians to represent Saudi Arabia, where women are barred from driving and are subject to a restrictive male guardianship system.

    But the historic decision was complicated by the kingdom’s thorny gender politics, as the official announcement of the Olympic team named only the seven men who will compete.

    The announcements of the names of the male and female team members were made separately given the sensitivities regarding gender segregation and women’s athletics in Saudi Arabia, said Saudi Olympic Committee Chief Executive Hosam Alqurashi.

    The four women will be given wildcard entries so they can compete without meeting formal qualification standards, a spokesman said.

    Saudi Arabia entered two women under a similar arrangement for the 2012 Olympics in London in what was a symbolic first for the oil-rich Islamic nation.

    Attar is a veteran of the London games, where she ran in the 800 meters. She will be joined in Rio by another runner, Abu Al-Jadail, who will run in the 100 meters. Omair will participate in fencing, while Fahmi will be in the under-52 kg judo event.

    Women in Saudi Arabia face significant hurdles to practice the sport. They must wear head-to-toe garments in public, observe strict rules on gender segregation and obtain permission from a male guardian to travel study or marry.


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