World famous singer Shakira caused a stir at an international soccer tournament in Beku Saturday as she mistakenly held up a Colombian flag upside down giving the impression it was the flag from Armenia.
The Colombian singer took to the stage before the FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup Final between France and Korea in Baku, Azerbaijan, for the first time since the announcement of her pregnancy.
She was dressed all in black and displaying what she thought was her native Colombian flag. However the flag, turned backwards, represents Armenia due to it having similar colors as the Colombian flag.
Amnesty International had urged Shakira and Rhianna a week before the concert to open their eyes to recent arrests of journalists, bloggers and activists in Azerbaijan, before their performances in the former Soviet republic this month,.
Amnesty and Sing for Democracy said in a joint letter that it wanted to draw the singer’s attention to human rights and freedom of speech issues in Azerbaijan.
“Both singers should be aware of the situation in the country post-Eurovision,” the letter said, referring to the singing contest in the Azeri capital of Baku in May, which spurred protests and rallies by Azeris demanding democracy.
Authorities in Baku arrested dozens of protesters in May and have since arrested several journalists and political activists.
Rihanna is scheduled to perform in Baku on Saturday, while Shakira performed on Oct. 24.
“Amnesty International 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,” said the letter to Rihanna and Shakira.