Azerbaijan demonstrations during Eurovision Song contest (5 of 12)

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The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was held in Azerbaijan. The land of fire, as it is called, put on a massive and spectacular show but the festivities were tainted by the country's poor human rights record and its harsh crack down on peaceful protests. The country’s own opposition tried to draw attention to the fact that the country is not a fair democracy even though the government tries to present such an image.
A protester is getting taken away at a peaceful rally at the lavish boulevard along Baku’s harbour front. The secret police would walk around the protesters and single them out. The minute they started shouting slogans they would be shut-up, dragged off into a police car that would speed off, or they would be put in a bus and taken to a police station. Often this would be done very quickly and violently.
The protest was held by critics of the current regime and was partly held to make the foreign media aware of the problems in the country.
According to Amnesty International it is not a rare sight to see protesters getting arrested, registered and then left somewhere. If you are a part of arranging the protest you could look at jail time. Normally the regime charges people with hooliganism if they need someone to disappear for a few years. That or send them to do military service.
Unfortunately there are reports of alleged torture of people that are incarcerated.
Independent journalists work under tough conditions with no protection from the government and are subject to targeting.

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