Human Rights Watch Calling to Boycott 2018 World Cup in Russia
The international community is continuing calls to boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Earlier this year the football's governing body issued concerns over growing calls to boycott the sporting event. The poisoning of Sergei Skripal in the UK became "the last straw", according to media publications
The organization has said Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to take steps to protect Syrian civilians. Russia is the main supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in country’s nearly seven-year war.
Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), denounced Putin’s actions, “Autocratic leaders often seek to host popular sporting events as a way to present a positive image to the rest of the world. World leaders should not allow a sporting event to gloss over a pattern of atrocities in Syria that now looms over two million civilians.”
Last month, 60 members of the European Parliament urged EU leaders to boycott the Fifa World Cup.
In last week’s report, HRW said the world football’s governing body, should use its influence and tackle difficult issues with the Russian authorities including labor rights abuses and restrictions on basic freedoms.