As Russian Games kick off, security, rights issues loom
Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 01:39
Feb. 6 - As dignitaries from around the globe begin arriving in Sochi, Russia for the Winter Olympics, security concerns loom, and the UN Chief condemns discrimination against homosexuals. Gavino Garay reports.
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As foreign dignitaries arrive on the eve of the Russia Winter Olympics -- a whirlwind of concerns.
From the treatment of homosexuals in Russia with it's legislation banning "homosexual propaganda," to a recent warning from Washington that tooth paste tubes could be used to make a bomb on a Russia-bound plane, the Games themselves are beginning to seem like an afterthought.
But these passengers leaving Frankfurt Airport for Sochi....seemed unfazed by the latest security concern.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSENGER ON FLIGHT TO SOCHI, GREGORY BROWN FROM LOS ANGELES, SAYING:
"Life is full of risks but we are fine. We feel good about it, we are looking forward to the competition."
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSENGER ON FLIGHT TO SOCHI, ROBIN HIBBERD FROM TORONTO, CANADA, SAYING:
"I feel okay about it. I think it's probably one of the safest places in the world. It's a very hard target. There is lots of soft targets out there so it's probably not a bad place to be."
In Sochi, U.N. Secretary General addressed another Russian issue plaguing the Games....discrimination against homosexuals.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL, BAN KI-MOON, SAYING:
"We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbians and gays, bisexual, transgender, or inter-sex people. We must oppose the arrest, imprisonment, and discriminatory restrictions they face."
Russian President Vladimir Putin says homosexuals will not be discriminated against during the Sochi Olympics.
And while Russian security forces are on high alert, Russia maintains that Sochi is as safe as any place in the West.
Twin suicide bombings killed at least 34 in nearby north Caucasus in December.
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