Tag Archives: azeris

People are summoned in Azerbaijan for voting vor Armenia

BAKU (RFE/RL) — It’s a simple song competition. Or is it?

The Eurovision Song Contest has long promoted itself as an event where national audiences in Europe and beyond can put politics aside and enjoy a long night of entertainment performed in the spirit of friendly competition, if not necessarily musical mastery.

But as Eurovision’s reach has traveled further east, old political rivalries are muddying the contest’s claim on good clean fun.

Rovshan Nasirli, a young Eurovision fan living in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, says he was summoned this week to the country’s National Security Ministry — to explain why he had voted for Armenia during this year’s competition in May.

“They wanted an explanation for why I voted for Armenia. They said it was a matter of national security,” Nasirli said. “They were trying to put psychological pressure on me, saying things like, ‘You have no sense of ethnic pride. How come you voted for Armenia?’ They made me write out an explanation, and then they let me go.”

A total of 43 Azeris voted for the Armenian duo Inga and Anush, and their song, “Jan-Jan.”

Nasirli, like others, used his mobile phone to send a text message expressing his preference, little imagining his vote would eventually result in a summons from national security officials. (By contrast, 1,065 Armenians voted for the Azerbaijani team, apparently without consequence.)

Simmering Tensions

Azerbaijan and Armenia remain locked in a protracted dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly ethnic-Armenian enclave located within Azerbaijani territory. Relations between the two countries are poor, even as they appear to be nearing a breakthrough on Karabakh.

The official antipathy can frequently trickle down to personal bias among ordinary Armenians and Azeris. But not always.

In the case of Eurovision, Nasirli said he preferred the Armenian entry because it sounded “more Azeri” than his country’s own submission, a duet featuring Arash, a pop superstar born in Iran and based in Sweden:

“I voted for Armenia to protest the fact that Arash was representing Azerbaijan. Also, the Armenian song was closer to Azerbaijani style than Arash’s song,” Nasirli said.


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Sunni people are in danger in Azerbaijan

Religious intolerance in Azerbaijan worries local Sunni muslims

Mosque demolitions in Baku undermine tolerance claims and lead some to accuse the government of clinging onto the Soviet system of keeping a tight rein on believers, Leyla Amirova reports for IWPR.

Great banners across Baku’s streets celebrate the city’s role as “Islamic Culture Capital 2009”, but away from the gaze of visiting delegates, Azerbaijan’s authorities have taken a tough stance on Muslims who dare to worship without their permission.

On 11 May, Salman Aliev, a 50-year-old oil worker, said he was witness to the destruction of a mosque on the Oil Rocks, an offshore drilling settlement built on stilts and rock where 5,000 men work surrounded by the Caspian Sea.

“In the morning I heard this loud noise of machines from the direction of the mosque. When I got there, I saw how the wall of the mosque was being destroyed with a crane,” he said.

The mosque had been a well-built two-storey structure, with a minaret, a dome and air-conditioning but, while Aliev watched, the workers reduced it to a pile of rubble.

“They were not doing this because they wanted to. There was an order from the management, and so as to not lose their jobs they did this,” he said.

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Eurovision scandals:Armenia Azerbaijan and Karabakh

Eurovision 2009 – Georgia, Putin, Azerbaijan and Iran …

The 54th Eurovision Song Contest is just over in Moscow. As one of the unexpected aspects of Eurovision – World’s largest musical contest – the observers mention its growing political background. Using popularity and huge worldwide audience of Eurovision, some countries use this song contest to promote political goals.

The next example was the clip “Always” by AySel & Arash presented by Azerbaijan. In decorations and haircut of the actress, who presented Azerbaijan, the image-makers from Baku used images of Poets’ Mausoleum in Tabriz in Iran as an illustration of Azeri-Türk culture. The observers consider this to be a promotion of ideas of unification of Northern Azerbaijan (Baku) and Southern Azerbaijan (Tabriz).

Interestingly, the organizers of Eurovision 2009 allowed the Iran-related decorations used by Azerbaijan, although they did not allow Armenia to use a photo of the Armenian Grandmother and Grandfather monument just because it is on the territory of Nagorno Karabakh. Azerbaijan accepts that Grandmother and Grandfather is an Armenian monument, but did not allow Eurovision to display it because they argue it would be promotion of the Armenian approach to the Karabakh conflict. And in Azerbaijan the phone number to vote for Armenia was blocked, at all.
More pictures here

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Jewish pogrom in Sumgait ?

According to the Israeli site http://izrus.co.il/diasporaIL/news/2009-02-09/10436.html, in some areas of Sumgait (Azerbaijan) were several cases of robbery at an apartment owned by Jewish families.  According to preliminary data  about 12 people were affected who were taken to a hospital ambulance with injuries of varying degrees of severity, including knife wounds. 
Presumably, this outbreak of violence, most likely linked to recent events in Gaza.


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Armenian hostages set free from Azerbaijani side.

Today at 12:00 four Armenian hostages Vanik Zmboyan (Gavar), Artyom Zohrabyan (Noraduz), Karen Torosyan (Noraduz) and Aghasi Enokyan (Noraduz) have been set free from Azerbaijani side by the initiatives of the RA Committee dealing with Affairs of Hostages, Lost People (the Chairman of the Committee is the Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan) and the working group adjunct to the committee and Andrzej Kasprchik, the personal representative of the OSCE ongoing president, reported the press secretary of the Defense Ministry Seyran Shahsuvaryan.
Criminal procedure started the same day of their return

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Azerbaijanian tolerance on Armenia-Turkey relations

On a meeting dedicated to the starting of Kars-Baku charter flights, Azerbaijani parliament deputy Ganira Pashayeva accused the Mayor of Kars, Naif Alibeyoglu, for provocations related to the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border.

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