Arab Today, arab today eurovision pr pitfall and chance for azerbaijan
Last Updated : GMT 16:48:01
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Eurovision: PR pitfall and chance for Azerbaijan

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Eurovision: PR pitfall and chance for Azerbaijan

Baku - AFP

Eurovision song contest hopefuls pranced and posed their way through rehearsals at Baku\'s Crystal Hall this week, while on nearby streets Azerbaijani police were seizing protesters. Raw video images of the break-up of illegal opposition rallies vied for viewers online with slick official footage of competitors like Russian grannies Buranovskiye Babushki and Irish twins Jedward, perfecting their onstage moves ahead of the glitzy pop event. The Azerbaijani authorities had hoped that hosting Eurovision would boost the energy-rich ex-Soviet state\'s image, but it has attracted publicity over allegations of human rights abuses which threaten a potential PR disaster. \"This is part of a broader diplomatic charm offensive to put Azerbaijan on the map, but if you get a lot of attention, you are also much more open to criticism,\" said Lawrence Sheets, Caucasus project director at the International Crisis Group think-tank. International media have given unprecedented coverage in recent weeks to Azerbaijani campaigners who allege that President Ilham Aliyev heads an authoritarian regime which is trying to crush dissent and silence free speech. \"The Azerbaijani authorities\' fake positive PR campaign has not worked,\" said Rasul Jafarov of Sing For Democracy, a local group founded to use Eurovision to highlight alleged abuses. But furious officials have increasingly been striking back, accusing foreign journalists and organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of conducting a \"slanderous campaign\" against the country. \"The provocative anti-Azerbaijani reports have been deliberately invented,\" Ali Hasanov, a senior official of the presidential administration, said last week. \"Political pluralism and human rights are fully ensured in Azerbaijan,\" he insisted. An editorial published by Baku news agency Trend suggested the country should actually be praised as a secular Muslim state and a strategic Western ally in the \"fight against terrorism\", whose huge Caspian Sea oil and gas reserves can help ensure energy security for Europe. \"Azerbaijan is a country about which unfortunately very few people speak truthfully in the West,\" the editorial complained. After political turmoil and war with neighbour Armenia in the 1990s, Azerbaijan\'s energy-fuelled economy has boomed since Aliyev came to power in 2003, succeeding his father Heydar, an ex-KGB officer and communist-era boss. Aliyev was re-elected by a landslide in 2008 and a referendum victory the following year abolished a two-term presidential limit, offering him the possibility of ruling the Caucasus state of 9.2 million people far into the future. Pipelines pumping oil and gas to Europe are likely to maintain the strategic importance of the mainly Muslim country whose government has also allowed it to become a key transit route for supplying the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. Eurovision is the most prestigious cultural event in the country since independence from the Soviet Union. \"Azerbaijan is now coming out into the world as a developed country that wants to live on the basis of European values,\" said Aydin Mirzazadze, a lawmaker from Aliyev\'s governing New Azerbaijan party. But as excitement has grown, reports about alleged rights violations have also increased. Stories of a top Azerbaijani reporter being blackmailed with a covertly filmed sex tape to stop her investigations into the Aliyev family\'s businesses, and another campaigning journalist being beaten unconscious by state oil company security guards have received widespread coverage. Human Rights Watch alleges that five journalists, one blogger, two human rights advocates and at least 10 opposition protesters are currently in jail in Azerbaijan for political reasons. Two small opposition rallies have been thwarted by police in the week leading up to Eurovision, with yet more activists temporarily detained. But it is unclear if the current upsurge of campaigning activity will have any longer-term impact, with analysts expressing doubts that there is enough pressure for reform. \"The government does care about its image but there is relatively little international leverage because it is awash with money and can to an extent ignore foreign criticism,\" said Sheets. \"It\'s hard to see that this will result in major policy changes,\" he said.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today eurovision pr pitfall and chance for azerbaijan Arab Today, arab today eurovision pr pitfall and chance for azerbaijan

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today eurovision pr pitfall and chance for azerbaijan Arab Today, arab today eurovision pr pitfall and chance for azerbaijan

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today unveils Joon - the 'millenials' airline

GMT 13:36 2017 Saturday ,23 September

unveils Joon - the 'millenials' airline
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today US-made bomb used in fatal strike

GMT 10:16 2017 Saturday ,23 September

US-made bomb used in fatal strike
Arab Today, arab today Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps

GMT 11:31 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Ministry seeks to improve education

GMT 14:49 2017 Sunday ,17 September

Ministry seeks to improve education
Arab Today, arab today All eyes on May as she prepares

GMT 10:16 2017 Friday ,22 September

All eyes on May as she prepares
Arab Today, arab today Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace

GMT 12:01 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Carmakers face billions in European

GMT 12:37 2017 Saturday ,23 September

Carmakers face billions in European
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes pumps 1 bln euros    

GMT 06:04 2017 Friday ,22 September

Mercedes pumps 1 bln euros    
Arab Today, arab today Lebleba is preoccupied in filming 'Back Street'

GMT 08:56 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Lebleba is preoccupied in filming 'Back Street'
Arab Today, arab today France hopeful of persuading Trump

GMT 06:21 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

France hopeful of persuading Trump

GMT 08:59 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Youssra prepares for launching her program

GMT 18:09 2017 Thursday ,21 September

China lifts 10-year travel ban

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha

GMT 19:18 2017 Monday ,18 September

5,000 'Dieselgate' deaths in Europe per year

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 18:03 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Alarm over flesh-eating ulcer cases

GMT 06:49 2017 Friday ,22 September

O'Leary: Could ground more planes

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 12:46 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Google likely to buy stake in Taiwan smartphone maker HTC

GMT 11:37 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Fashion designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday