EBU receives government guarantees from Azerbaijani Prime Minister

The letter from Prime Minister Artur Rasizadeh was handed to EBU delegates by Azerbaijani broadcaster, Ictimai TV, at a Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group meeting, in Geneva.

"The Azerbaijani government conceives the organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest as a great responsibility and is ready to take all necessary measures for that," Mr Rasizadeh wrote, adding, "Every citizen of Azerbaijan is proud that our country won the contest in 2011 and is honoured to host the next contest in Baku."

PM Rasizadeh wrote that the European Convention on Human Rights would be respected and Eurovision delegates, crews, press and fans would be granted freedom of expression and assembly.
Finally, he provided security guarantees and agreed to simplify visa arrangements for thousands of fans who will travel to Baku for the Eurovision Song Contest.

While the EBU is looking forward to a smooth organisation of the 2012 Contest, it is deeply committed to media freedom and condemns all arrests, harassment and intimidation of all journalists who must be allowed to do their job, without fear of recrimination.

In July 2010 the EBU General Assembly, meeting in Baku, issued a common declaration on media freedom and freedom of expression declaring that "the right to freedom of expression and information takes precedence over political or economic interests, and States have a duty to ensure and protect this fundamental cornerstone of democracy".

The Final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to take place on 26 May, two Semi-Finals are set for 22 and 24 May. Around 40 nations are expected to be represented, of which several have already started their search for a winner. 

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