FIFA & UEFA: Make release of Armenian POWs precondition for all future games in Azerbaijan

FIFA & UEFA: Make release of Armenian POWs precondition for all future games in Azerbaijan

June 21, 2021
Petition to
UEFA and
Signatures: 13,850Next Goal: 15,000
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Why this petition matters

We are petitioning FIFA and UEFA to make any future football games in Baku contingent on Azerbaijan releasing illegally held Armenian hostages and prisoners of war (POWs).

Azerbaijan’s authoritarian government, led by President Ilhan Aliyev, has been involved in military aggression against Armenia and Artsakh, human rights abuses and atrocities, and political repression at home.

> On September 27th, 2020, Azerbaijan launched an illegal war against the Republic of Artsakh with the help of thousands of paid jihadist mercenaries from Syria. 

> The war ended on November 9, 2020, but Azerbaijan continues to hold more than 200 Armenian POWs and civilian captives, in contravention of article 118 of the Geneva Conventions.

> In the Spring of 2021, Azerbaijan invaded and now occupies parts of the Republic of Armenia, in violation of the basic norms of international law, and has kidnapped Armenian citizens as well. 

> Captives are held in deplorable conditions and tortured. A recent report by Human Rights Watch has confirmed the extrajudicial torture and subsequent murder of 19 people.

> On June 16, a sham trial of 14 Armenian POWs was launched in a Baku court, a few kilometers away from the Olympic Stadium where the EURO 2020 quarter final is scheduled to take place.

> A state-sanctioned military Trophy Park exhibiting the helmets of young Armenian soldiers killed in action was recently opened in the vicinity of the same Olympic Stadium.

By agreeing to hold football games in Baku under current conditions, FIFA and UEFA become complicit in these ongoing human rights violations as well as the Aliyev government’s active disinformation campaign and sportswashing. This would directly contradict FIFA's and UEFA’s stated human rights commitments.

FIFA & UEFA cannot possibly allow football games to proceed in Baku while prisoners of war and civilian detainees are being subjected to sham trials, or worse, are being tortured and killed in the same city. 

We, the undersigned, therefore request that FIFA and UEFA demand the unconditional release of Azerbaijan's illegally held Armenian captives and revoke Baku’s hosting rights if it refuses to do so.

FIFA and UEFA should make it crystal clear to Azerbaijan that it will only be allowed to proceed with any future international tournaments if, and only if, it does not violate international law, abides by all international conventions it has ratified, and respects human rights.

For more information, please read our Open Letter to UEFA and this Petition to the UN Secretary-General.

And for the latest news and information on Armenian POWs, please visit: 


If enough people sign, there’s a good chance that Azerbaijan will be forced to release all remaining Armenian captives in order to avoid the international humiliation of having its hosting rights to any upcoming FIFA or UEFA organized games revoked.

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Signatures: 13,850Next Goal: 15,000
Support now