Friday, December 23, 2011

Human Rights and Azerbaijan

I have often said in the lead up to the contest that Azerbaijan should never be completely trusted on their human rights record. The EBU has seemingly failed in this. A report by the BBC shows the human cost of Eurovision and it is a cost that every fan must bear in mind. According to their report hundreds of people will be forced to leave their homes so as they can be removed ahead of the construction of the contest venue. This has lead to the president of OGAE Denmark calling for Denmark to boycott ESC 2012. There is a claim that the demolitions have nothing to do with the contest and if this is the case there is nothing the EBU can do.

Therefore I am calling for a full investigation (included onsite inspection) by the European Broadcasting Union (Reference Group) to ascertain whether the construction of the venue or infrastructure for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 is connected to the demolition of up to 65 homes located near the proposed site for the contest. If the findings of the report are true the EBU should demand alternative arrangements be put in place. The EBU should be prepared to drop Azerbaijan as the host country if these human rights violations or any other human rights issue comes to light. 

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