Eurovision glitter must not blind us to human rights abuses in Azerbaijan

This atricle originally appeared on Huffington Post UK

As we head towards one more Eurovision final, will a spotlight also be shone onto the serious human rights abuses in Azerbaijan, this year’s host? Or will the Azerbaijani government succeed in burnishing their image and hiding the reality of violence, repression and an increasingly hostile environment for journalists, bloggers, academics, activists and others? (more…)

Azerbaijan: “Tortured” singer flees country

A 24-year-old Azerbaijani musician who says he was tortured by police after he insulted the country’s president during a concert has fled to Germany over concerns for his safety. Jamal Ali had criticised President Ilham Aliyev and his late mother during the concert in Baku in March, and was charged with hooliganism after an argument with the concert’s organisers. He and two other musicians were sentenced to 10 days’ detention, during which time Ali claims he was tortured. His escape comes just days before the Eurovision song contest, due to be held in the former Soviet country on 26 May.