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    Rihanna and Shakira Asked by Amnesty International to Think Twice Before Performing in Azerbaijan

    Rihanna, Shakira Francois Durand/Getty Images; Marion Curtis/startraksphoto.com

    Rihanna and Shakira are being encouraged to reconsider taking the stage this month in Azerbaijan. Both are scheduled to appear in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, during the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup of soccer.

    Amnesty International and Sing for Democracy recently sent a letter to both artists to make them aware of the alleged human rights abuses being inflicted on the nation's people.

    "Stadiums may cheer for internationally renowned recording artists like Rihanna and Shakira, but citizens within the European country do not enjoy such freedom of expression and are often persecuted when attempting to speak out," Amnesty International said in a press release on Friday. "Today, many Azerbaijani journalists, bloggers and political activists have been arrested and persecuted multiple times."

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    In the letter sent to the singers, Amnesty International stated it "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."

    Representatives for the two singers have not yet responded to E! News' requests for comment on the Amnesty letter.

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