The European Parliament today adopted a resolution criticising the political situation and rights abuses in Azerbaijan, ahead of the Eurovision song contest. The Greens welcomed the outcome and the large majority voting in favour, with Green foreign affairs spokesperson Ulrike Lunacek stating:
"The EP has today sent a strong message against the political repression in Azerbaijan. The glitz and pomp of the Eurovision song contest should not in any way mask the serious problems in the country.
"The EP has today called on the EU to do far more to address political repression by the Azeri authorities, with violence and repression against human rights activists and journalists a common occurrence. Politically imprisoned activists and journalists should be immediately released, and freedom of assembly and expression guaranteed.
"While the contest has brought Azerbaijan under the spotlight, thanks in part to the work of the human rights initiative 'Sing for Democracy', it is important that this attention is not let drop until the Azeri authorities take concrete steps to end political repression and encourage pluralism."