‘Olympic competitors should have diplomatic status’

The opposition GroenLinks party has called for diplomatic status to be given to Dutch competitors taking part in the Olympic Games in China this year, reports ANP news service on Thursday.

The aim is to protect Dutch sports men and women against repercussions from Chinese authorities should they make critical comments about human rights while in the country.
The call by GroenLinks MP Mariko Peters follows comments by foreign affairs minister Maxim Verhagen this week that the Netherlands can do little to protect Dutch competitors who make such remarks in China.
According to Peters, the minister’s comments are designed to discourage sensitive issues from being addressed by those taking part in the Olympics.

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