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By Index on Censorship / 28 May 2012
The landslide winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Sweden’s Loreen, has thwarted Azerbaijan’s attempts to use the competition to whitewash its record on free speech.
Prior to the competition, the Euphoria singer had met Azerbaijani activists, and was quoted as saying: “Human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things.”
On the night of the Eurovision final, there was huge support for Index’s petition on Azerbaijan with tweets from Stephen Fry, Graham Linehan, Owen Jones and Caitlin Moran and political support from Lord Ken MacDonald QC, Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir and MEPs Edward McMillan-Scott, Richard Howitt, Nessa Childers and David Martin.
The petition is just short of 4000 signatures – if you haven’t signed it – please sign now: Azerbaijanpetition.orgAzerbaijan | Eurovision | free speech | Loreen
Index on Censorship has dedicated its milestone 250th issue to exploring the increasing threats to reporters worldwide. Its special report, Truth in Danger, Danger in Truth: Journalists Under Fire and Under Pressure, is out soon. Highlights include Lindsey Hilsum, writing about her friend and colleague, the murdered war reporter Marie Colvin, and asking whether journalists should still be covering war zones. Stephen Grey looks at the difficulties of protecting sources in an era of mass surveillance.