Culture 18:19 12/03/2012

John Kennedy O'Connor remarks on Armenia’s withdrawal from Eurovision 2012

 Author of “The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History” bestseller John Kennedy O'Connor has remarked on Armenia’s withdrawal from Eurovision 2012 song contest at BBC radio.

O'Connor told Today programme's John Humphrys that similar incident happened once before, when Austria refused to take part in the contest.

“Austria refused to take part in the Madrid contest in 1969 staged under the Franco fascist regime,” expert said.

Regarding Armenia taking the strong line, O'Connor pointed 2009 contest held in Moscow, when 43 Azerbaijanis having voted for Arshakyan sisters were called to be examined by secret police.

Expressing a view point that Azerbaijan shouldn’t be hosting the contest, O'Connor mentioned a message revealed by Amnesty International that it doesn’t want the contest to be held in a country where human rights are violated.

They will be "presenting a smiley happy face to the world while the reality is quite different", he said.

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