HELSINKI — Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights calls on the Atletico Madrid football team to stop its cooperation with authoritarian regime of Azerbaijan, as reported by Azerbaijani newspaper Azadliq.

According to the article the Vice-president of the organization Adam Bodnar and Project coordinator Dominica Bychawska-Siniarska in their letter have described the appalling condition of human rights in Azerbaijan and have called for the revision of the sponsorship agreement with Azerbaijan.

In their letter they also reminded of the arrests of human rights defenders and politicians, journalists and civic activists within the last few months for criticizing the government.

“After all this we do not understand why such as outstanding European football team as Atletico Madrid would agree to promote on its shirts one of the most repressive countries in the world,” says the letter.

The organization expresses hope that the football team will not stay indifferent to their call.

“The Atletico Madrid players wear the logo ‘Land of Fire Azerbaijan’ on their shirts; however the situation in this country is such that the slogan should read “the land of fire which burns democratic values and human rights principles”. It is our deep regret that Azerbaijani government’s oil has so much power to fuel democratic values and human rights,” says the letter.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

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