Human Rights Campaign “The Art of Democracy” appealed to the head of the Ukrainian rock band “Okean Elzy”, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, in connection with the forthcoming concert of the Baku at the end of this week. The authors wrote in the appeal that Okean Elzy should bear in mind the human rights abuses being inflicted on the people of Azerbaijan, “where youth groups, academics, political activists and NGOs have become the targets of government repression,” Turan reports.
In their appeal the authors have also written to dedicate one of the songs to Rasul Jafarov, a 30 year old human rights activist. he launched a Sing for Democracy campaign to use 2012 Eurovision song contest —which was hosted in Baku—to showcase the country’s poor human rights record. He has also been the coordinator of the Human Rights Campaign “The Art of Democracy”.
As the article also reads, in December 2013, he was on Maidan, in solidarity with the Ukraine. . Back then, Okean performed in front of the jubilant crowd, dedicating the concert to all those who were detained and injured in the protests. Since then, Rasul has become a fiercest fan of Okean Elzy.
The authors of the appeal say that they urge the group to speak up against Rasul’s arrest. The best way to do so is to dedicate him the song “На Небі” while performing this song at their concert in Azerbaijan. “Rasul believes that the Azerbaijani government should afford all artists, journalists, activists and ordinary citizens the right to express themselves freely without fear of reprisal. We hope that you share this believe,” the article reads.
During the last session at the PACE Rasul Jafarov and a number of other human rights activists made a report on the political prisoners’ problems in Azerbaijan. And a month earlier, at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE in Baku Jafarov and others held a public hearing on the civil society problems. Both of these events caused a negative reaction in Baku. Authorities were literally furious by PACE decision to appoint a special rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan.