PEOPLE VOTING FOR EUROVISION 2009 COMPETITION ARMENIAN REPRESENTATIVE CALLED TO NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTRY

August 17th, 2009
Political scientist Arastun Orujlu’s 17 year old son was called to the National Security Ministry on 6 August for voting for the singer from Armenia during Eurovision Contest 2009.

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety was told by Arastun Orujlu that an unknown person called to his son’s mobile phone and demanded that he go to the Nasimi District Department of NSM. Father Orujlu forbade his son to go to the department.   
“Since my son was called via a phone call without indicating any reason and without sending an official invitation, I told my son not to go anywhere and demanded that they send a written invitation,” said A.Orujlu. “Besides, my son is not 18 yet, and he can be interrogated only when his parents and a lawyer is present. However, one of the callers threatened my son saying that they would take my son there by police using force. Therefore I consider this open threat.”
An Azerbaijani citizen named Rovshan Nasirli told Radio Liberty that he was called to the Nasimi District Department of NSM for voting the singer from Armenia during Eurovision Contest 2009.
“I made a statement why I voted for Armenia,” said Rovshan Nasirli. “They said they did it for the security of the country. They wanted to psychologically suppress me; don’t you have your own nationality? Why do you vote for Armenia? After I was made to write the statement, I was released.” Rovshan Nasirli emphasized that the NSM employee, who interrogated him, had a list in his hand with the names and phone numbers of several people.     
Lawyer Alasgar Mammadli told IRFS that calling people to NSM for voting for Armenia has no legal basis and is unfounded. Mammadli added that Azerbaijan joined Eurovision network without conditions and the performance of the Armenian singer was live broadcast on Azerbaijan’s Public TV. “Then no restrictions should be imposed upon citizens’ choices, and citizens should not face problems afterwards. This is violation of freedom of expression and law violation,” added A.Mammadli.
IRFS attempted to contact the National Security Ministry, but our calls went unanswered.