The Director General of the European Broadcasting Union has issued an official statement regarding the investigation of whether Azeri citizens were questioned by the Ministry of the Interior in Azerbaijan over their decision to vote for Armenia at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Azeri broadcaster Ictimai has also responded to the EBU investigation.
The official statement on the EBU website tonight says:
The European Broadcasting Union has received responses from Azerbaijan regarding allegations that telephone voters in Azerbaijan who voted for the Armenian song in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest were interrogated by security police.
Ictimai, the EBU’s Azeri Member which broadcast this year’s Song Contest from Moscow in May, has confirmed its commitment to free and fair voting. While two individuals had been invited to the Ministry of National Security, Ictimai said, the Ministry of National Security had given assurances that nobody had been questioned, either officially or unofficially, on voting in the competition itself. this is an official statement by Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company of Azerbaijan on the controversial issue related to the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest .
The EBU’s Director General, Jean Réveillon, said he took note of the statements. However, he stressed that the freedom to vote for any song except the one of the country where you are watching is one of the cornerstones of the contest. “Any breach of privacy regarding voting, or interrogation of individuals, is totally unacceptable,” he added.
The EBU committee responsible for running the Song Contest will examine the matter at a meeting in Oslo on 11 September 2009.