Art for Democracy: Screening of the film "The Art for Democracy Requires" impeded by authorities

Baku/28.01.14/Turan : The human rights campaign "The Art for Democracy" has issued a statement condemning the failure of the January 24 demonstration of the documentary "The Art for Democracy Requires" in the Park Inn due to the refusal of the hotel management. The authors regard this as " a direct violation of freedom of expression by the Azerbaijani authorities ."

Despite the preliminary agreement, the conclusion of the contract and payment for the activities , right before watching the movie on the second floor of the hotel the light was off. Responsible staff explained that with " technical problems." The organizers' attempt to deliver to the hotel their UPS as an alternative source of electricity was impeded by the hotel management and security service. This was explained with security measures. Some staff informally confirmed that this was the result of exerted pressure on the management of the hotel .

The authors of the statement believe that thus was prevented screening of the film, which included criticism of President Ilham Aliyev and several officials. "With this action the authorities tried to push their own business against representatives of civil society,"  the document says .

The campaign "The Art of Democracy" urges the Azerbaijani authorities to abandon the "experience of creating barriers for public events and to respect human rights." The campaign recalls the commitments undertaken by Azerbaijan before a number of international organizations. These limits are already on strike because of the government crackdown on democratic norms and Azerbaijan's international image .

The campaign "The Art of Democracy" is a continuation of the advocacy campaign "Music in the name of democracy" launched before the contest Eurovision 2012 in Baku in order to attract attention to the problems of human rights in Azerbaijan.

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