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Azerbaijan: Azer Cirttan

29 February 2012

Exiled singer-songwriter Azer Cirttan speaks about censorship, fear and Eurovision   This interview with Azer Cirttan was recorded by Nicklas Wallén in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in February 2012. Explaining what lead up to his decision to leave the country, Azer tells me that the concerts he tried to make were …

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Azerbaijan: Prosecuted writer faces further charges

3 May 2016

The case against Azerbaijani writer Akram Aylisli, who previously faced charges of ‘hooliganism’ after being detained at Baku Haydar Aliyev International Airport on 30 March 2016, has expanded to include charges of ‘resisting the authorities with violence’. Under Article 315.1 of the criminal code, this is punishable by up to …

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Azerbaijan: Writer detained at airport

31 March 2016

Police detained writer Akram Aylisli for 11 hours at Baku’s Heydar Aliyev Airport, preventing him from traveling to a literary festival in Venice, Italy at which he was scheduled to appear, reported Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty on 30 March 2016. Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Interior reported that Aylisli was …

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Azerbaijan: Russian opera star banned

11 September 2015

Foreign nationals who took part in the concert of internationally renowned Russian opera singer Lyubov Kazarnovskaya in the city of Hankendi (Stepanakert) in Nagorno-Karabakh on 2 September 2015 have been placed on the list of undesirable persons, head of the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev said. …

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Azerbaijan: Call for American singer to stand up for political prisoners

27 June 2015

“Lady Gaga’s surprise appearance in Baku, Azerbaijan, where she performed at the opening ceremony of the inaugural European Games, drew immediate condemnation from the international human rights community — as well it should,” wrote Global Post’s Rebecca Vincent. “Lady Gaga’s appearance was a stark contrast to Bono’s impassioned appeal for …

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Azerbaijan: Six years imprisonment to Sing for Democracy campaigner

20 April 2015

Rasul Jafarov, 29, one of Azerbaijan’s best-known human rights activists and government critics, was sentenced on 16 April to six years and six months in prison on charges including tax evasion and abuse of power. He has also been barred from holding any office for three years following his release, reported …

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Azerbaijan: Music by Armenian composer banned in Baku

10 June 2014

Organisers of the forthcoming European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, which is held in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, have asked the Belarusian team to refrain from playing music by Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian, head coach of the Belarusian team Irina Laperskaya told a press conference in Minsk. The Azerbaijani authorities have long banned …

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Azerbaijan: Foreign music banned in Nakhijevan

15 May 2014

The Nakhijevan TV and Radio Broadcasting Committee has banned broadcasting of all foreign music on Nakhijevan radio channels, the Azerbaijani news portal Haqqin.az reported. “The ban includes genres such as rock and rap, regardless if they have been produced within Azerbaijan and are sung in the Azerbaijani language. It includes …

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