Neighbour points doesn’t exist between Azerbaijan and Armenia – the political fight between the two countries have resulted in Azerbaijani police questioning people who voted for Armenia in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. They are being classified as a potential security threat.
BBC reports that 43 people in Azerbaijan voted for the Armenian song Jan Jan performed by Inga and Anush at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest held in Moscow, Russia. Those people are now being questioned by the police who accuse them of being “unpatriotic and a potential security threat”. Azerbaijani authorities confirm the questions, but explain it as “People are being invited to explain why they voted for Armenia”.
For EBU, the European Broadcasting Union, this is another step back in their attempt to keep the Eurovision Song Contest free of politics. Svante Stockselius, executive supervisor of the Contest, haven’t had an easy year with Georgia being disqualified for a song mugging the Russian president, Ukraine complaining that they were forced by EBU to announce too high points to Russia, Azerbaijani TV not showing the voting number for Armenia – and now this. Svante Stockselius does not want to comment on the police interrogations, but says that they are investigating the situation.
The tensions between the two countries go 15 years back to the war over the region Nagorno – Karabakh. Despite an agreement less than a year ago about working to find a political solution to the territory fight civil right campaigners accuse the Azerbaijani government of provoking Armenia into an increased fight. They also add that “freedom of expression is increasingly suppressed in Azerbaijan under the presidency of Ilham Aliyev”.