Reuters’ Diane Falconer reports from Paris:
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge cannot speak in detail about human rights in China for diplomatic reasons, he said in an interview on Saturday.
“Of course I unquestionably value human rights,” he was quoted as saying in French sports weekly L’Equipe Magazine.
“Reasons of State (raison d’Etat) forbids me to express myself in detail on that subject,” he said in an interview two weeks before the start of the Beijing Games.
“I have to be careful about what I do and what I say. I am at the head of an organization. My duty is to make the Olympics a success and let the athletes express themselves freely. I am criticized. And I answer that I am ready to take blows in order to protect the athletes.
“In view of my responsibilities, I have lost some of my freedom of speech,” the Belgian said.