Syrians In the U.K. Demand Russian Olympic Committee to Suspend Vice-President
LONDON, Aug. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Syrians in the UK, a non-profit organization that brings together Syrian-born UK citizens, requested Russian Olympic delegation to exclude Dr. Vladimir Lisin, Olympic Committee vice-president, Russia’s second richest man and shipping magnate, who was allegedly linked to arms trade with Bashar Al-Assad. According to the group, Lisin should be suspended from the Olympics until he is cleared of involvement.
According to British media, The Professor Katsman, a freighter ship owned by the North West Shipping Company, which is controlled by Vladimir Lisin through his Cyprus-based Fletcher Group Holdings, transported weapons to Syria. In a statement published by Svoboda Radio, the company and Lisin, both denied knowledge of the contents of the cargo. However, the actions of the crew, which switched off the ship’s transponder, according to Human Rights First, a human rights non-profit organization based in New York, shortly before showing up at Tartus, Syria, on May 26, only one day after more than 100 people were massacred by Al-Assad’s troops.
Syrians in the UK, a group of Syrian-born British citizens, has sent an open letter to the British Parliament calling for “revocation of Mr. Lisin’s visa to the U.K.” and for a ban for him and “other people delivering weapons to Assad’s regime to enter the United Kingdom.” According to the letter, Syrians in the UK are very concerned “about the state of the civil war that causes death and destruction in their homeland” and that the U.K. government turns a blind eye to people who support Bashar Al-Assad’s regime by providing it with weapons that might be used against civilians.”
“We demand that Dr. Lisin be suspended from the Olympic committees and delegations until he is cleared of involvement with arms trade condemned by the EU and many individual nations. The alleged actions by his company go against the spirit and the whole idea of the Olympic movement,” says Boulos Kuzbari, director of Syrians in the UK group.
Syrians in the UK is a non-profit association of British citizens who were born in Syria. It represents the Syrian community in the United Kingdom.
SOURCE Syrians in the UK