Friday, 25 May 2012

Home-owners evicted and tens of thousands of animals slaughtered in preparation for Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan.


In Azerbaijan, Public Association for Assistance to Free Economy officials have evicted more than 200 families from their dwellings to make way for Eurovision-related infrastructure improvements. Twenty of the displaced families have filed a lawsuit against the city government, alleging that their property rights were violated. Zohrab Ismayil, the Public Association’s chair, contends that the payouts given to displaced families amounted to less than half the fair market value for the properties taken by the government.


In a report analysing the situation, Human Rights Watch (a world leading organisation which dedicated to defending human rights) claims that the  authorities  illegally seized properties and forcibly evicted dozens of families in four Baku neighbourhoods, at times without warning and sometimes in the middle of the night.

The authorities subsequently demolished homes, sometimes with residents’ possessions inside. The government has refused to provide homeowners fair compensation for the properties, many of which are in highly desirable locations. The evictions have been carried out for a variety of projects, including construction of parks, roads, luxury housing, a parking garage, and a shopping center.

The eviction campaign accelerated in recent months in the seaside National Flag Square area, one of the four neighbourhoods that is adjacent to the construction site for the Baku Crystal Hall, the modern, glass-encased arena for the May 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Pressured by the HRW the European Broadcasting Union, which oversees the Eurovision Song Contest, sought to distance itself, citing the ‘apolitical’ nature of the contest.

Apart from this appalling disregard to human rights there is also an ongoing animal rights catastrophe.

According to the Azerbaijan Society for the Protection of Animals, stray dogs are posing a threat to public health and safety and because of this authorities are putting down thousands of strays and improperly disposing of the carcasses. This treatment violates the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, an agreement that Azerbaijan signed in 2003. The Convention calls on authorities to handle animal-control related issues “in a way which does not cause avoidable pain, suffering or distress.”
More than 20,000 animal lovers have signed a petition (that can be found online at www.change.org/) that calls on officials to change the current policy. Let’s speak for the animals because they don’t have a voice.
Greenhouse Malta wants the public to be aware of the atrocities that go on in preparation to some large events, such as this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and we urge everybody to find out more about these dreadful premeditated actions and to speak out against such injustice.

1 comment:

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