Azerbaijan, Human Rights and How Eurovision can help

Azerbaijan, Human Rights and How Eurovision can help

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Our family often will watch the Eurovision song contest with friends and play a kind of bingo game – “how many winks to camera” “how many costume changes” etc as well as vote for the winner competition. But this year because of the situation in Azerbaijan I was wondering about boycotting the event. But then I had a really interesting twitter conversation about whether to boycott the Eurovision song contest because it was being held in Azerbaijan and their human rights record is atrocious. A friend of mine made the following suggestion :

I love it. It’s a great idea. So here’s the plan – during the Eurovision Song contest – amidst all the hilarity – lets raise the issue of human rights in Azerbaijan.

The official twitter accounts are:

@bbceurovision – for the widest UK coverage – it makes sense to use the BBC twitter feed.
@eurovision – is the official eurovision – twitter feed – with some 60 000 followers

Hashtags – i think #esc12 is the most used – but happy to be corrected on this.

Peter Reeve made me aware of this helpful infographic

Other tweetable sources:

Against a backdrop of skirmishes along Azerbaijan and Armenia’s ceasefire line and an increase in their defence budgets, little progress was made in the negotiations to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the aegis of the OSCE Minsk Group. Some 600,000 people internally displaced by the conflict continued to suffer discriminatory registration requirements and inadequate housing. – Amnesty International

Threats, harassment, and acts of violence against journalists and civil society activists continued with impunity, leading to an increase in self-censorship. Criminal and civil defamation laws were used to silence criticism, resulting in prison sentences and heavy fines against journalists.

Even in the build up to Eurovision – this happened;

(Baku) – The Azerbaijani authorities roughed up and arbitrarily detained at least 30 and possibly more than 70 peaceful protesters today as dozens of local and international journalists looked on, Human Rights Watch said today. The protesters were held for several hours, then released. (Human Rights Watch)

According to Reporters without Borders: Azerbaijan ranks very near the bottom for freedom of the Press.

eurovision views

According to Amnesty, 16 political prisoners remain behind bars in Azerbaijan.

As we get closer to the event – your help in collating more information for tweets would be really helpful.

Let’s make a difference at Eurovision.


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