Monday, July 2

Liar, liar, pants on fire...

Azerbaijan is a country that recently gained a world wide reputation for a number of things. For starters, it is now known for being the highest spender on the pop and cheesy song contest known as Eurovision. It also made itself known for the Crystal Hall, the Flame Towers, the Old Town, the New Fountain Square and some bits of the downtown Baku. And of course, "Azerbaijan, the land of" phrase that captured attention of foreigners who were hearing the name of this country for the very first time. 

But then, as TV commercial ads were boasting of beautiful and mesmerizing Azerbaijan, something else caught the attention of outsiders. Azerbaijan wasn't just known for its nature, colorful culture and architecture. Behind that Azerbaijan was another, hidden country, where rights of its very own people are oppressed, where journalists are punished for their work, where free words and free spirits are under constant scrutiny and more... 

It is up to outsiders to decide which of the Azerbaijans they prefer- glitz and glamor and so- called "hidden treasures" or the country where real life conditions are not so glitzy and glamorous. For those who choose the latter, here is an interesting resolution adopted on June 26th (a month after the Eurovision contest) by the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe on political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani government calls these reports and analysis black pr and lies. I call it simple reflection of the truth and reality. Facts are facts, no one (including Council of Europe) would make so much noise out of this if everything was as perfect as Azerbaijani government claims it to be.

You can read more about resolution here.

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