Reporter Paul Kenyon finds out how the contest has been used as a tool of intimidation: viewers have been interrogated for voting for the nation’s long-term enemy,
Armenia; a protest singer has been told to flee before Eurovision or he will be thrown in jail; and dozens have had their homes bulldozed to make way for the Eurovision event itself.
The US embassy in Baku has compared the ruling family to the Mafia. The regime has held onto power through a combination of rigged elections, jailing opponents, and by irregular control of the country’s vast oil wealth. So, why did the organisers of the world’s best well-loved music event agree to host it in Azerbaijan?