This video was produced by Human Rights Watch to show why the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) should speak out against Azerbaijan’s appalling record on freedom of expression in the lead-up to the Eurovision Song Contest. It contains an interview with exiled musician Jamal Ali:
The Eropean Broadcasting Union, EBU, declined to show this video at a workshop about media rights in Azerbaijan it organized on 2 May 2012, citing technical reasons. The EBU is an association of public broadcasters with a stated commitment to free expression. It oversees the Eurovision Song Contest.
“But there is no freedom of speech in Azerbaijan,” stated Human Rights Watch’s Carroll Bogert in the video.
The rapper and musician Jamal Ali who was also interviewed in the above video by Humans Rights Watch fled his home country on Wednesday 16 May, he told the British newspaper The Guardian via Skype from Berlin.
Jamal Ali claims that police tortured him for two days, placing a bag on his head and beating him with a truncheon, after he and his bassist were detained after a performance at an anti-government rally in March 2012.