A gay rights activist has called on the International Olympic Committee to ban countries that discriminate against LGBTI people, women and minorities from the 2012 London Games.

In a letter to the organisers of the London Olympics and the IOC, rights campaigner Peter Tatchell called for the enforcement of the Olympic Charter, which bans discrimination against these groups.

“In over 150 countries, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes are forced to hide their sexuality in order to get selected and compete; otherwise they would be rejected and possibly face imprisonment,” Tatchell wrote.

The activist pointed out that the Olympic charter bans: “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.

“Sport should have no boundaries or exclusions.”

Tatchell said any country that discriminates against women or ethnic, religious or sexual minorities should be disqualified from the 2012 Olympics.

The 2012 London Olympics will be held from July 27 – August 12.

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