Azerbaijan beats up journalists, jails political opponents and bulldozes people’s homes to build shopping malls, according to the latest resolution by the European Parliament.
It is run “in a manner similar to the feudalism found in Europe during the Middle Ages … with general agreement among leading families to divide the spoils,” according to a leaked US embassy cable from 2010.
It is being “consistently persecute[d]” by NGOs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in the run-up to Eurovision 2012, according to Ali Hasanov, the head of the Azerbaijan presidential administration socio-political department.
Hasanov’s statement this week is a sign of Baku’s sensitivity about its international reputation.
With President Ilham Aliyev’s wife personally organising Eurovision and his daughter recently launching a glossy magazine to promote the country, the sensitivity goes right to the top.
It has hired four lobby firms in the US: Bob Lawrence & Associates, Jefferson Waterman International, Fabiani and Company and Patton Boggs …
Polish MEP also went on freelance Azerbaijan trip
Un jeune blogueur azéri placé sous haute protection en France
EU-spin campaign blows up in Azerbaijan’s face