Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 May 2012

Eurovision hosts are top of the charts for repression

Clare Doyle, Committee for a Workers' International

BBC's Panorama investigation - 'Eurovision's Dirty Secret' - looked at the 2012 host country Azerbaijan. It revealed the depths to which its ruling regime, based on massive oil wealth, will go in trying to crush any resistance and opposition to its dictatorial power. It should get 'nil points' for its human rights record!

Since a coup in 1992 the country has been run by the Aliyev family - first Heydar, followed by his son Ilham who, in 2009, won the presidency for life with a 90% referendum vote!

Ilham's daughters own multi-million dollar business dealing in things like telephone networks and gold-mining. Through a Panama-registered company his 15 year-old son has a major interest in a luxury hotel in Baku and a $40 million stake in in the prestigious 'Dubai Palm'.

Millions of dollars were spent on the hasty construction of a 'Crystal Hall' on the banks of the Caspian Sea for the Eurovision Song Contest final which has more viewers than any other non-sporting event in the world.

As undercover journalist, Paul Kenyon, showed, the slightest criticism of the regime can be punishable by years in prison. Journalists are followed, beaten up, imprisoned and sometimes killed. There are at least 70 political prisoners, although the regime denies there are any.

The 'parliament' has not one opposition MP. The Azerbaijan Popular Front party had its headquarters closed by the state. Its leader, Ali Karimli, is under 24-hour surveillance and its members are constantly harassed and persecuted.

Protests are brutally attacked. Homes are bulldozed while people still live in them to make way for prestige building projects like those for the Eurovision festivities.

The programme challenged past and present Eurovision organisers and participants - including Sandie Shaw and Engelbert Humperdinck - about the competition's host country. They appeared to believe it had nothing to do with them!

The singer for Azerbaijan's entry is Aliyev's son-in-law. His wife - an MP with a claimed 94% vote - chairs the country's Eurovision committee!

Armenia, Azerbaijan's 'long-time enemy', will not be participating in the contest this year. In 2009, Azerbaijani TV suddenly went blank during the Armenian team's entry! Kenyon interviewed an Azerbaijani who, after voting for Armenia, was taken in for interrogation.

A popular singer, Jamal, was imprisoned and tortured for insulting Aliyev. Now he has been ordered to get out of the country before the contest begins.

In its own words, the BBC's Panorama has "pulled back the curtain" on the Aliyev dictatorship. On 28 May, Panorama turns its attention to the anti-Semitism, racism and attacks on foreigners in Poland and Ukraine, hosts to the Euro 2012 football tournament.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 23 May 2012:

Fighting the cuts

Hospital jobs scandal - Action now to save the NHS!

Con-Dems' hypocrisy over children's care

Our education under attack

Council workers in Cheshire strike against attacks on pay

Socialist Party news and analysis

We stand 100% with the Greek workers

Rochdale: far right attempts to exploit tragedy of abuse

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: 31 May referendum

Eurovision hosts are top of the charts for repression

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Back to work? How the system fails the unemployed

Mullivaikal 2012 - Solidarity with the Tamil people

Lincolnshire academies in crisis

Profit hungry 'Big Oil' backs climate change deniers

The housing crisis - action needed now

Youth Fight for Jobs Northern Ireland launched in Belfast

Building the electoral alternative in Brent

Stockland Green march for jobs

More attacks on right to campaign

Socialist Party workplace news

Interview with RMT assistant general secretary candidate

AEI Cables: "Thrown out in disgraceful circumstances"

Leadership shows weakness at CWU conference

Workplace news in brief

National Shop Stewards Network


Home   |   The Socialist 23 May 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleDefend free TV licences for pensioners!

triangleTears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

triangleTV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?

triangleFight back against the corona propaganda war





Cuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo


Nuclear weapons

Anniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki



Iran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes



Israel: Nurses strike and win


Hong Kong

Hong Kong: The fight for democratic rights


South Africa

South Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign



France: 20,000 rally against Paris's killer gendarmes



Black and white youth rise up against racism - US protester speaks to the Socialist



USA - another cop killing of unarmed black man sparks widespread protests



Outrage spreads globally following US police murder of George Floyd


Hong Kong

Chinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests



Economic collapse leads to renewed protests across Lebanon



Trump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race



India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus



Trump puts profit before safety (again)

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020