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article imageS. African Government Says Athlete's Human Rights Violated

By Christopher Szabo     Aug 22, 2009 in Sports
Top South African officials are weighing in on the side of athlete Caster Semenya accusing the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) of violating her human rights and dignity.
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation said today it would complain to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights over the sex verification tests Semenya was ordered to undergo by the IAAF, saying they were:
A gross and severe undermining of rights and privacy.
The Times reported committee chairman Butana Komphela as saying:
The humiliation of Semenya was a sign of sexist action by IAAF as it undermined the achievements of women.
Meanwhile, News24 reported that the Ministry of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities had called on the IAAF to explain its decision to make the South African 800 metre gold medal-winning athlete take the sex verification tests:
The ministry demands transparency from the IAAF about the sequence of events that led to Semenya's gender being subjected to such unjustified scrutiny.
The spokesman for the ministry, Sibanda Mngadi, accused the IAAF of being a ”patriarchy” in world sports. He said:
There has been a blatant disregard for her human dignity. The questioning of her gender is based on a stereotypical view of physical features and abilities attributable to women.
Mngadi said his ministry was also discussing the matter with the national sports body, Athletics South Africa, a team of which is in Berlin:
We will communicate with Athletics S.A. as well to understand their perspective.
The influential Women’s League of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said it would stage pickets in all of South Africa’s nine provinces on Tuesday, when Caster Semenya is expected to return home.
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