Russia sets protest zone for Sochi Games far from Olympic venues
In this Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 file photo the Iceberg skating arena at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi is pictured. (AP / Igor Yakunin)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, January 10, 2014 9:57AM EST
MOSCOW - Russia has picked a spot where protests can be held during next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi and it is miles away from where the athletes will compete.
Dmitry Kozak, a deputy prime minister overseeing preparations for the games, said Friday that a park in the town of Khosta will serve as the "protest zone."
Khosta is on the Black Sea coast between the city of Sochi and the Olympic Park, about 12 kilometres from the nearest arenas.
Russia is most likely to expect protests from critics of its anti-gay laws or other rights abuses.
The R-Sport news agency quoted Kozak as saying: "At the park in Khosta, people will be able freely to express their opinions without violating the rights of other citizens or the Olympic charter."