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Armenia without Eurovision07.03.2012 | 16:16
Armenia has officially withdrawn from participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku. According to the official website of the contest, the Armenian Public Television has notified the European Broadcasting Union about this decision today. The event organizers have expressed their disappointment. "We are really disappointed with the decision of the APT to withdraw from participation in Eurovision this year", the executive producer of the contest, the Norwegian Jon Ola Sand, said.
According to Sand, despite the efforts of the European Broadcasting Union and the local Azeri broadcaster to ensure the normal participation of the Armenian delegation in the contest this year, some circumstances "led to the adoption of this unfortunate decision".
Earlier, February 23, 22 Armenian singer issued a statement that they considered the participation of Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest "Eurovision-2012" in Baku unacceptable in connection with the anti-Armenian policy of Azerbaijan. The statement was issued after the announcement by the Armenian Defense Ministry about the death of conscript Albert Adibekyan at the combat positions near the village of Chinari of Tavush region as a result of sniper fire from the Azerbaijani side.
"We refuse to perform in a country, known for its widespread massacres against Armenians. We refuse to perform in a country where Armenia-phobia is brought to the level of public policy. We refuse to perform in a country which prohibits entry to any person of Armenian origin, even if he is a citizen of another state", the drafters of the open letter explained.
"No matter how much times the authorities of Azerbaijan have stated about the guarantees of safety for the participants, it is clear that any singer or a member of the delegation of Armenian nationality may repeat the fate of the Armenian Armed Forces officer Gurgen Margaryan killed by Azeri officer in Budapest in 2004. We refuse to perform in a country, which has organized the mass killings of thousands of Armenians in Sumgait, Kirovabad, Baku, Mingachevir and Maragha, in a country which has attacked the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, in a country which has attempted to evict our brothers and sisters from their historic homeland. Thank to heroic self-defense of our brothers and sisters, Azerbaijani Armed Forces had been pushed out of Artsakh. However, they're still threatening violence against the Armenians. And all this takes place at the level of the President and various authorities, which have been cultivating their citizens in anti-Armenian mood and spirit of revenge for years", said in a statement.
The artists have noted that they were not going to participate in the selection, but are willing to go to the Eurovision-2012 if the European Broadcasting Union decides to hold contest not in Azerbaijan, but in any other country "with an atmosphere of harmony and equal competition".
"We note also that we are willing to participate in all subsequent Eurovision contests", the authors of the statement added.
The statement also says that the prospect of holding contest in 2012 in Azerbaijan's capital has caused widespread criticism and dissatisfaction of social organizations, political leaders of many countries and international organizations.
February 6, Javakh Diaspora in Russia urged Baku to abandon the contest Eurovision on its territory. The representatives of the Diaspora appealed to the international community with a question whether Azerbaijan has a moral right to host the competition, and called to boycott the event.