New York: Pop stars Rihanna and Shakira have been forewarned by human rights group Amnesty International and Sing for Democracy to think twice before their performances in Azerbaijan.
The organisations said in a joint letter that they wanted to draw the singers’ attention to human rights and freedom of speech issues in Azerbaijan, Reuters reported.
“Both singers should be aware of the situation in the country post-Eurovision,” the letter said, referring to the singing contest in the Azeri capital of Baku in May, which spurred protests and rallies by Azeris demanding democracy.
“We Found Love” singer Rihanna, 24, is scheduled to perform in Baku on Saturday. “Hips Don’t Lie” singer Shakira, 35, is performing in Baku for football organization FIFA’s under 17 women’s world cup on October 13, and at another venue in the capital on October 14.
“Amnesty International believes that the Azerbaijani government should afford all artists, journalists, activists and ordinary citizens the right to express themselves freely without fear of reprisal. We hope that you share our belief,” said the letter to Rihanna and Shakira.