• Sweden edition
 
Azerbaijan condemns Loreen's activist meeting

Azerbaijan condemns Loreen's activist meeting

Published: 24 May 2012 15:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 May 2012 15:08 GMT+02:00

"These are people who have been through a lot and they should get to tell their stories. There will be press present and they will get to tell the truth. It will be the other side of the front that is being shown. It is a strong front, it is as beautiful as anything, but what happens in the cracks?" Loreen said to news agency TT at the time of the meeting.

According to daily Expressen, the meeting carried on without any problems but an article written by the Azerbaijani news agency APA claiming that Swedish ambassador Mikael Eriksson had told Loreen to make "political statements" from the Eurovison stage.

This has caused the senior presidential administration official Ali Hasanov to tell local media that the EBU should prevent such meetings with "anti-Azerbaijani" groups.

"The European Broadcasting Union must intervene in this issue and stop these politicised actions," Hasanov told Trend news agency.

However, the Swedish foreign ministry denies that the ambassador has told Loreen to make any statements.

"There is no substance to the rumour that the ambassador has asked Loreen to make any political statements," said Theo Zetterman at the ministry to Expressen.

The Azerbaijani authorities want to use Eurovision to win international acclaim for the energy-rich, mainly Muslim state of 9.2 million people.

But the pop contest has also drawn unprecedented attention to allegations that Aliyev's government jails opponents, persecutes journalists, cracks down on protests and suppresses free speech.

A small protest with around 100 opposition supporters in Baku was broken up by police Monday on the eve of the first Eurovision semi-final.

The second semi-final takes place later on Thursday, with the grand final on Saturday.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

19:38 May 24, 2012 by Orxan
first of all thanks for Loreen doing so.She is so brave.She is only participant who told true things about our country.Sweden people cant imagine human rights how are terrible in Azerbaijan
20:56 May 24, 2012 by Greysuede
Who's actually Loreen? Unknown singer of 3 hardly unknown songs.

I don't think that she's so genuinely concerned about human rights in Azerbaijan except promoting herself....

By the way, why she wouldn't care about human rights in her Morocco?
21:40 May 24, 2012 by Douglas Garner
@greysuede... why SHOULDN'T she be interested in human rights wherever she goes? Shouldn't we ALL be?
21:47 May 24, 2012 by Uncle
Actually she is extremely interested by the human rights in Morocco. Since she is a Berber that is. And Berbers are not having sweet times in peace loving - innocent defending - not interested in oil - highly moral islamic countries.

On the other hand, there is also the issue of pooping on the yard of a country that welcomes you. Like a football players would start negotiating with Basques in Spain or IRA in NI, just before a game in these countries. It is sort of weird and uncomfortable.

She does not agree with the human rights there? Totally correct. But visit the country outside the frame of Eurovision! That is MHO.
07:32 May 25, 2012 by RobinHood
Good job Loreen.

Human Rights Watch reports Azerbaijan to be a corrupt banana republic run by Ilham Aliyeva, a presidential despot similar in repulsiveness to Sasha Baron Cohen's fictional president. His police torture and imprison with impunity. Corruption, at every level of society, exists to funnel vast amounts of wealth to the President, and his reptilian family. Journalists and their families are particularly targeted and silenced with police beatings, murder and trumped up court cases, heard by corrupt judges.

The song contest was supposed to be an opportunity for President Aliyev to showcase what a good chap he is. In fact thousands of international journalists, sympathetic to their persecuted and silenced Azerbaijani colleagues, and some brave performers, like Loreen, have taken the opportunity to show the world how bad things actually are in Azerbaijan.

The President is angry and confused, poor chap. This was not how it was supposed to be at all. Enjoy the show everybody.
10:53 May 25, 2012 by comentatir
"the energy-rich, mainly Muslim state of 9.2 million people"

Thank you TheLocal for creating stereotypical images in our heads about Azerbaijan!
16:51 May 25, 2012 by james_g
Well, good for Loreen! Uncle - I think you've got one aspect wrong; she's not 'pooping' (unfortunate choice of word to my mind) on the country - she's 'pooping' (in a very restrained way) on the government of that country which is not, as I see it, representative of the people of that country! You can't simply switch off your critical facilities because of fear of hurting the feelings (or more) of some corrupt despotic government! If Aliyeva didn't want this sort of 'problem' all he had to do was refuse to hold the Eurobore Contest in Azerbaijan :) Simple! Most governments deserve all the criticism they can get!
17:48 May 25, 2012 by CanisTrigger
Regardless, her song is awful and she didn't even sing live. If you can actually call these lyrics:

"Euphoria

Forever, 'till the end of time

From now on, only you and I

We're going up-up-up-up-up-up-up

Euphoria

An everlasting piece of art

A beating love within my heart

We're going up-up-up-up-up-up-up"

I think a four-year-old could have come up with something better than this crap.

Politics should stay out of this competition. She can campaign all she wants, but this is the Eurovision and frankly I find it annoying when some people mix the two things together.

Having said that, her "song" is so bad and she's so awful on stage that I am sure she will be the winner. Looks like Sweden is one of the few countries who could afford to host the Eurovision anyway.

Sorry folks, just my two cents.
17:49 May 25, 2012 by graceolsson
The photos of Azerbaijan were showed on tv are full of imagination but we know that 3 weeks before the Eurovision, President Aliyev closed all the schools in Baku...They want to hide the reality of Azerbaijan during Eurovision ...

I don´t feel that it can be good. But I think that Loreen should be more interested in Morocco, a complicated country for HUman Rights.
19:58 May 25, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
I think it shows absoultely NO CLASS for someone to criticize anything about a country that is hosting you for an international event. If Loreen is so offended at Azerbaijan then why not just stay home in Morocco....umm, I mean Sweden?!
13:12 May 30, 2012 by Alecx
Well, ESC has been held in Azerbaijan not in Morocco.. that's why all eyes were on the catastrophic Human rights situation in this banana republic. So why should Loreen talk about Morocco anyway? This country is actually don't pretend to be European, not a member of the Council of Europe, the Eastern Partnership and also does not expresses the desire to eventually become an EU member state.

The Azerbaijani president, I. Aliyev, treated the musical win like a military triumph, describing it as "a victory for the people of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani state."! Isn't this pardon, retarded? Should i mention that 4 years in a row they buy all songs from Swedish composers? Well, reaching high positions with Swedish production, (while their own song from 2008 ESC hardly got to the top 10) and then call it "one of the greatest achievement of Azerbaijani culture" is just not sick, seriously.

The Eurovision contest is somehow shed light on the darkness.. this, i guess was the main purpose of this very, very "apolitical" contest... will it help? Not sure.
22:35 August 25, 2012 by zizisabbag
So, Loreen met with human rights activists and the Azerbaijani government got upset. I wonder if it's because they're afraid of the spotlight. Fear usually means they're hiding something. The good news is that the private sector in Azerbaijan is implementing real reforms, pro-capitalist investments. One example is the Bank of Azerbaijan, led by a Mr. Jahangir Hajiyev. Hajiyev and the bank are investing in vital energy, growth and emerging markets. Hajiyev is leading the way to reform. The government should follow.
Today's headlines
National
Flood and high wind warning in east Sweden
Stockholm experienced heavy rain on Sunday. Photo: TT

Flood and high wind warning in east Sweden

After heavy rain broke off the September sunshine in eastern Sweden on Sunday, forecasters warn more bad weather is on the way. READ  

National
Two hurt in Helsingborg ferry crash
The damaged ferry is being inspected on Monday. Photo: TT

Two hurt in Helsingborg ferry crash

UPDATED: A ferry crashed into a pier in the port of Helsingborg in southern Sweden on Sunday night, with two people taken to hospital following the collision. READ  

Elections 2014
Waiting game for Social Democrat leader
Stefan Löfven will return to parliament on Friday. Photo: TT

Waiting game for Social Democrat leader

Stefan Löfven, who has been tasked with forming Sweden's next government, is facing an anxious few days ahead of his next crucial meeting with Parliament's speaker on Friday. READ  

National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Finest
Gallery
People-watching September 19th - 21st
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

846
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN