Song contest: Hopes raised for change in Azerbaijan


BAKU, Azerbaijan - As Azerbaijan prepares to host the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest next week, advocates say now is the time to increase pressure on the former Soviet republic for its human rights abuses.

“[Eurovision] is an opportunity to shine a light on some […] darker spots of Azerbaijan,” German Human Rights Commissioner Markus Loning told The Washington Times.

Since Azerbaijan won last year’s contest in Germany and the right to host this year’s, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have led a campaign to publicize how President Ilham Aliyev’s regime is intimidating, attacking and jailing Azeri journalists and opposition activists

Read more at The Washington Times

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