Azerbaijan’s president prefers pop stars to democracy – Washington Post
YEREVAN, APRIL 11, ARMENPRESS. The Editorial Board of the Washington Post has published an article criticizing the elections in Azerbaijan.
“RULE ONE of the Dictator’s Handbook: Allow no one else to seriously challenge you in an election. Rule Two: Spend enough of your nation’s treasure to lure a popular Western entertainer to distract from Rule One. Previously, President Ilham Aliyev, son of a strongman who inherited his father’s distaste for democracy, enticed Lady Gaga to perform, then Mariah Carey. Now Mr. Aliyev has booked pop star Christina Aguilera for the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 28”, ARMENPRESS reports the Washington Post wrote.
The newspaper notes that the event will take place 2.5 weeks after the presidential elections in Azerbaijan, meanwhile, Aliyev has so thoroughly suffocated democracy in Azerbaijan that he will certainly win a fourth term by a wide margin. The newspaper also reminded about the “Azerbaijani Laundromat” – a mechanism through which Aliyev bribed European politicians.
“If Ms. Aguilera has time, she may want to poke around Azerbaijan’s jails. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Azerbaijan ranks among the worst jailers of journalists in the world, with at least 10 imprisoned when its last survey was completed in December. She might also want to set aside some time to get a reality check on Azerbaijan from Khadija Ismayilova, a courageous journalist who endured a prison term for the “crime” of her hard-hitting investigative reports about Mr. Aliyev’s family wealth. Or, perhaps Ms. Aguilera could visit Ilgar Mammadov, a prominent alternative voice to Mr. Aliyev who was arrested more than five years ago shortly after announcing he would challenge the president in the 2013 elections. Mr. Mammadov was accused of inciting violence and sentenced to seven years in prison after a faulty trial. The European Court of Human Rights found his detention illegal. He is still locked away”, the Washington Post concluded.
English –translator/editor: Tigran Sirekanyan