Amnesty issues plea to Rihanna, Shakira before Azeri concerts
AZERBAIJAN (REUTERS) - Human rights group Amnesty International urged pop stars Rihanna and Shakira on Friday to open their eyes to recent arrests of journalists, bloggers and activists in Azerbaijan, before their performances in the former Soviet republic this month.
Amnesty and Sing for Democracy said in a joint letter that it wanted to draw the singers' attention to human rights and freedom of speech issues in Azerbaijan.
"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.
Authorities in Baku arrested dozens of protesters in May and have since arrested several journalists and political activists.