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Letter to the International Olympic Committee: Human rights concerns related to Sochi Games [Russia]

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 1 October 2009

...Human Rights Watch would underscore the concerns regarding Russia's preparations for the Winter 2014 Games in Sochi...The procedures for notifying residents of expropriation, establishing compensation and resettlement...remain inadequate and lack transparency...In most cases expropriation will take the form of a forced sale, meaning the property owners are required to sell their property to the government at a sale price less than the current valuation and must pay 13 percent property taxes on the amount of the sale...Several Sochi residents...raised serious concerns about health issues related to Olympic construction...[T]he residents of the village of Akhshtyr, which has 49 homes and a population of 102 people, have been without water for a year because of Olympics-related construction...The wells were destroyed with no warning to residents and no compensation, leaving them without an alternate source of water for months...In another example, three cement factories built in the last six months now operate near a large residential area. Residents told Human Rights Watch the factories operate day and night, causing noise, pollution and dust, which interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of their property. They are also worried about the health effects of living so close to the factories. Their attempts to raise this issue with local authorities have had no results.

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