Business, human rights, and the Baku 2015 European Games

In June 2015, Azerbaijan will host the first European Games, in Baku.  As it prepared for the games, the government has stepped up its crack-down on human rights activists.  Many are currently prisoners of conscience.  One of them, Leyla Yunus, has called for a boycott of the Games over the deteriorating situation in the country.  

Meanwhile, the British Chief Operating Officer for the games, Simon Clegg, has described the country as “an incredibly free society” and a “wonderful place to live”, and has said British firms have already reaped "millions of pounds" in contracts in areas like public relations and catering.  Official sponsors for the games include BP, Coca-Cola, Nar Mobile, P&G, Tissot, McDonald's and Tickethour.  They are likely to face mounting pressure over this sponsorship, in the light of the Azeri government's serious human rights violations.

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