Amnesty International Urges Cristiano Ronaldo to Highlight Human Rights Issues
January 4, 2023
Cited article by Amnesty International
HRRC shares the concerns that famous football/soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo will be used as a method of "sports-washing" the ongoing human rights issues in Saudi Arabia as he signs onto team. Additionally, we join Amnesty International in urging Ronaldo to maintain a critical perspective of Saudi Arabia's human rights standard, as he has an opportunity to be a public voice supporting those silenced.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been signed with Saudi Arabia's Al-Nassr Football Club. Amnesty International’s Middle East researcher Dana Ahmed made it clear the concerns regarding Ronaldo's signing with Saudi Arabia. Primarily among these concerns is that Ronaldo's role will be utilized by the country to distract from the ongoing poor human rights status in the region.
In the Amnesty International statement, Ahmed highlights specific human rights concerns. First is Saudi Arabia's executions of people for crimes such as murder, rape, and drug smuggling. Second is the country's restrictions on freedom of speech, in particular heavy prison sentences for human rights defenders, women's rights activists, and other political activists.