Top official: Every Azerbaijani citizen responsible for ensuring security during Eurovision 2012 song contest

Politics Materials 18 May 2012 20:29 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 18 / Trend K. Zarbaliyeva /

Every Azerbaijani citizen, rather than only government is responsible for ensuring security during Eurovision 2012 song contest, Head of the Department on Work with Law-Enforcement Agencies of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Fuad Alasgarov said in an interview with Trend today.

"Unfortunately, not only Der Standart, but some daily newspapers of other countries, particularly Germany, disseminate false information about Azerbaijan," he stressed. "In this regard, it should be noted that there are no political prisoners in Azerbaijan. I am ready to prove it to anyone at any time. Azerbaijan is always faithful to the commitments made in the field of human rights. We have repeatedly proved this."

"The pro-Armenian forces, knowing nothing about the processes taking place in the country, forming public opinion about Azerbaijan on the basis of the subjective opinions of other people, disseminate false information about political prisoners in the country," he said. "Everything is different in reality."

"Despite the fact that the forces of radical opposition have repeatedly held meetings in peaceful and safe conditions, they make statements in which they refuse from the sites allocated for them to conduct the rally," he added. "They also say that they will hold it in another place. Moreover, they gathered as many people as they could at these meetings and said there everything they wanted."

"There are opposition members, who understand this," he added. "According to yesterday's press reports, Arif Hajili, brought to justice as one of the organizers of the rally on April 2, 2011, which was accompanied by violence, appealed to the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev."

"As opposed to other members of the so-called Public Chamber, in his statement Hajili said that the victory of Azerbaijan's representatives at Eurovision-2011 and holding this popular contest in Azerbaijan is an important event for the state and people," he added. "It is important to use this moment, when the world's attention is focused on Azerbaijan, as an opportunity to raise the authority of people and the state to strengthen its place in the international community."

"Azerbaijan guarantees the right to freedom of assembly, as well as other rights," he stressed. "But at the same time, freedom of assembly is optional and certain limitations can be applied to it."

"Some foreign media opened a true information front against Azerbaijan," he said. "The representatives of some embassies even accused former prisoners of not resuming political activities."

"I would like to say that there is no difference between those who hold an unauthorized rally in Baku in the run up to and during the Eurovision and those who voice anti-Azerbaijani slogans in front of Azerbaijani consulate in Tabriz," he said.

"We should not forget that on the eve of the Eurovision Armenians also moved on to more aggressive anti-Azerbaijani campaign, violations of the cease-fire on the frontline increased," Alasgarov said. "In the analysis of this it's clear which scenarios are played out. Some foreign forces, thinking negatively of our country, having united with the internal opposition, are trying to create a negative impression about Azerbaijan by organizing conferences, marches, rallies to this end."

"Despite holding the prestigious song contest in the country, demonstrating the political will, places have been allocated in the country for rallies," he said. "Seeing Western interest in rallies agreed with the executive power of Baku and fearing in this respect to be left without grants of customers, the opposition seems to want to return to the violent "tactics of April" 2011."

"Has any other country which hosted Eurovision or other similar grand cultural event, faced the organization of such campaigns against the state in anticipation of the holiday? Alasgarov said. "What is the purpose of their organizers? The answer to the question is clear. And our goal is to hold this event at a high level in a safe environment. I am sure that millions of people who will watch the contest will see that Azerbaijan is a rapidly growing, free, tolerant, ancient country with rich culture."