Lionel Messi, the Barcelona football club striker is under heavy criticism from the Human Rights Foundation after he visited Gabon. According to what I read in ESPN FC, the organization accused Messi of supporting the president of Gabon, Ali Bongo, who has been accused of corruption, election fraud and human rights abuse.
The nation’s opposition political party has also accused the World Footballer of the Year for being disrespectful to the president and the country by dressing inappropriately. Messi was dressed in cut off ripped shorts, a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers. He was allegedly paid €2.5 million for the visit by Bongo’s government.
Despite the fact that Gabon is rich in resources, a third of the country’s population is living below the poverty level. The country also has the most corrupt and oppressive regime in the world and for Messi to offer public relation services to the president’s family is a form of undermining the credibility of the work he does as a UNICEF ambassador.
The Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen stated that Messi, who is a UNICEF ambassador in charge of youth education, should not have endorsed the regime that allegedly participates in Child rights abuse. Thor insists that Messi should have instead insisted on the investigation of the ritual murders of children in Gabon. The president of the country has failed to investigate the people responsible for the mass ritual killings of children in the country.
Messi had gone to Gabon to lay a foundation stone in one of the African Cup of Nations venues. While in Gabon, he visited the government hospital and attended an inauguration event that was held in a restaurant owned by President Ali Bongo’s family. This visit has sparked outcry as Messi is seen to side with the government of Ali Bongo.
The organization has demanded an apology and statement from Messi that condemns the dictatorship of the president. Gabon is expected to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations despite the fact that the country is struggling financially. For more information regarding the criticism, kindly visit http://www.espnfc.com/spanish-primera-division/story/2546237/human-rights-foundation-hits-out-at-lionel-messi-over-gabon
The Human Rights Foundation is a non-partisan organization that advocates for the global protection of human rights. Thor Halvorssen Mendoza formed the organization. In 2005, the entity opened its head offices in New York. The organization brings together people with the mutual cause of promoting liberal democracy and defending human rights. The Human rights foundation believes that all human beings deserve to express themselves, to associate with whomever they choose and to worship, as they desire.