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Eurovision song contest in Azerbaijan

Human rights situation worse after Eurovision

Published tisdag 24 juli 2012 kl 18.13
Rasul Jafarov from "Sing for Democracy" with Loreen. Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

The human rights situation in Azerbaijan has worsened since the Eurovison Song Contest in Baku in May of this year, where Swedish victor Loreen and other celebrities attempted to draw attention to human rights issues.

Swedish Radio reports that although the country was under Europe's scrutiny during the song competition, this did not improve the situation for human rights activists in the country.

Sweden's Loreen, who won the Eurovision song contest, used her time in Baku to meet with the organization "Sing for Democracy" and promote their human rights work.

Since Eurovision, Rassul Jafarov, an active member of the organization, tells Swedish Radio that the media who support the regime in Azerbaijan have launched "huge blackmail campaigns" against him, in which he has been called an enemy of the state.

Police in Azerbaijan have taken ten political prisoners into custody since May. The apparent decrease in human rights in the country since the Eurovision song contest has Amnesty in Sweden concerned.

"After the Eurovision we have seen how the police have hit back. They have not eased their restrictions, on the contrary, they are now much stricter", says Amnesty Sweden's secretary general Lise Berg.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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