Human Rights Watch (HRW) has published a report on the human rights situation in Russia on the eve of the FIFA World Cup. Human Rights Watch emphasizes that the background to the tournament , which will take place in 11 Russian cities within a month, is a sharp deterioration of the human rights situation.
Human rights defenders point out, in particular, the violation of the rights of stadium builders. According to the HRW, workers are detained by salaries, and the conditions of their work are not safe. As of April 2018, 21 workers were killed on the construction sites of the 2018 World Championship.
In addition, human rights defenders note the deterioration in the situation with the right to peaceful assembly in Russia. They indicate, in particular, the mass detention of supporters of oppositional Oleksiy Navalny , including during protest actions organised by him, as well as the introduction of repressive legislation in Russia and the strengthening of online censorship in Russia.
Director of Human Rights Watch in Europe and Central Asia Guy Williamson also called unacceptable the Russian authorities refusal to grant a visa to German sports journalist to cover the games.
“Global sporting events, such as the World Championship, attract a wide international focus. We hope that this report will help journalists move beyond the football field to wider issues of concern in Russia, “Williamson said.
The report also describes the situation in Chechnya, where the Egyptian team will be based during the World Cup, and where the head of the local branch of the Memorial Human Rights Organisation, Oyub Titiev, remains under arrest .
Human Rights Watch has called on the International Federation of Football (FIFA) to influence the human rights situation in Russia.
The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15. The matches will be held in 12 stadiums in 11 cities.