Monday, September 01, 2014


Azerbaijan

Baku Hotel Owners Questioned On Hidden Sex Camera Claims

Azerbaijan's elaborate preparations for this year's Eurovision have been undermined by several reports citing rights abuses.
Azerbaijan's elaborate preparations for this year's Eurovision have been undermined by several reports citing rights abuses.
By Ron Synovitz
No sex under any circumstances.

That's what one local rights group is advising visitors to Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, for the Eurovision Song Contest there next week.

The group, Azad Genclik Teskilati (Free Youth), claims "hidden cameras are installed on the premises of all...hotels without exception," and that footage made with the cameras "can later be used against tourists for blackmail."

The corporate headquarters of major international hotels in Baku have given assurances that they have policies in place to protect guests' privacy.

But the concerns arose after hidden cameras were used in some Azerbaijani hotels to make secret sex videos of opposition journalists and critics of Azerbaijan's government -- violating their right to privacy in an attempt to blackmail them and silence dissent.

In one case, a video of two opposition journalists engaged in sexual acts was later broadcast on a television channel owned by a cousin of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

Hotels' Response

Christopher Avery, the director of the London-based Business & Human Rights Resource Centre -- which tracks the impact on human rights of 5,000 companies around the world -- told RFE/RL that it was incumbent on the hotels to show that they have taken steps to ensure this doesn't happen again.

"Concerns were raised that this was happening in hotels, and indeed, there is evidence that it did happen in hotels," he said.

"Now whether this is the hotels acting in complicity with the government, whether they were pressured by the government or by somebody else to allow the cameras to be planted, or whether this happened without the hotels' knowledge, we don't know.

"But the very fact that this has happened is something that the hotels have to carry some responsibility for."

Avery's group questioned the corporate offices of seven international hotels in Baku: the Excelsior, Hilton, Hyatt, Kempinski, Radisson, Ramada, and Sheraton.

All responded that they have corporate policies in place to ensure the rights of their guests are respected. Two directly addressed the hidden-camera concerns.

"I can tell you that it is not possible to install hidden cameras in our hotel rooms," the Excelsior's security chief replied. "Because we know how to fight against this kind of illegal activity. And I can ensure you that we have never faced this kind of problem in the past and I am sure we will not have this problem in future."

Inappropriate Conduct

The Hyatt hotel also insisted that it would be vigilant about guests' privacy concerns. "The hotels have confirmed that they are unaware of the kind of conduct described...occurring on their premises," the Hyatt's response read. "We will certainly be on alert for any such inappropriate conduct and will investigate any allegations brought to our attention."

The Ramada/Wyndham Group, whose hotels are owned by individuals with franchise rights to use the Ramada name, said any hotel owners who violated the rights of guests risked being stripped of their franchise rights.

Avery said his rights group will continue to monitor the situation and will contact the parent companies of any Baku hotels where complaints of hidden cameras persist in the wake of the Eurovision contest.

International human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, have also raised concerns about other human rights abuses in Azerbaijan during the lead-up to the Eurovision competition.
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by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
May 18, 2012 22:26
Aaaaah,whats this fuss all about...we wanna see what goes behind close doors...there must be live broadcasts of cctv cameras...otherwise you are infringing voyeurs` rights...shame shame shame on you all !!!

by: nika from: baku
May 19, 2012 05:59
The Eurovision Song Contest to be a very positive thing for us. Our country is developing gradually and it was a chance for the Europeans to show this.

by: aysel from: mutallimova
May 19, 2012 07:04
-Yes, today we can say with confidence that Azerbaijan republic has achieved itself many of the goal. . The Eurovision Song Consert is the best example to it......

by: aliye from: memmedova
May 19, 2012 08:33
It seems to me that the Eurovision Consert affect not only Azerbaijan's beauty, but also foreign countries' interests....

by: aqil from: zaman
May 19, 2012 09:01
waiting for this victory, through the efforts of the our President and 1st Lady, after the numerous successes in this area, we will make sure we will earn success and do not mistaken.... Our success was known us all over the world.. hopefully will be continued success! , we shall win The same victory in Karabakh, we believe our state as in Azerbaijan we are able to do that!
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
May 19, 2012 12:20
Dearest aki djan,your president can buy you an `Euro` blind vision song and belly dance contest,he can buy you bulgarian` sportsmen` to win some medals for you in the true spirit of the Olympic games -Ali Baba Ilhan gaylievich has inherited enough money stolen from his father Gay dar Aliev-he can also pay muslim bandit mercenaries to kill civilians in Artsakh-the only thing he cant do is to enslave the people of Karabagh-it is and will remain free ,just as the present petrol station of azeristan will soon be free of its kurdish kgb sultan allahtan Ilhan.So be quick to relieve yourself of your zor zaman,causing you to write loony posts,get out of your cold turkey state of kgb mind and buy a ticket for the top performance of the year-Ilhan alievich belly dancing at the dance competition of this year`s `Euro` vision contest.I hope you wont mistake his belly for his behind!!!
In Response

by: Anonymous
May 19, 2012 16:09
He can buy us everything, Karabakh too. Its people will not be necessarily enslaved, they can leave too.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
May 21, 2012 18:41
Yes Onanimouse,he could have bought you Artsakh,if it was ruled by kurdish azeri kgb Ali Babas like Ilham-unfortunately it is not.
In Response

by: Anonymous
May 21, 2012 19:44
You have no idea about who rules where. Armenians in Karabakh served Turks for centuries and now they serve the Russians. They have no say in any of the matter. Thus, if the masters agree Karabakh can be bought easily, it's just a matter of time.

by: Haytxa from: usa
May 20, 2012 01:50
What garbage of "democracy". Camers in hotel rooms. This is worse than GESTAPO. Al due to Hitler Aliyev. Any self resprcting country would cancel their trip to baku.
In Response

by: Anonymous
May 21, 2012 06:23
Apparently by that measure the only "self respecting" country was Armenia, which was fined and forced to broadcast the entire show as a result of cancelling their participation.

by: TheHunter from: UK
May 20, 2012 23:00
Yet another vilification campaign against Azerbaijan when Eurovision is taking place over there successfully. I would rather rely on EBU, ESC and the representatives of over 40 countries being now in Azerbaijan than usual poisonous gossip on this site.

www.eurovision.tv is a good source of truthfulness

by: aqil from: zamanaqil.zaman@mail.ru
May 21, 2012 06:13
Camel dear, do not worry! we belive our president and sure that will win over Karabakh soon!
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
May 21, 2012 18:36
Aki djan,I am sure you believe your crazydent-you being his kurdish kgb stooges-judging from his ever shining boots-I`m sure Gaylievich has amassed a fortune from the shoe shiners` fees he would have paid if not for his bootlickers.We are all sure `that will win over K. soon-on the 12th of never-and conngratulations on yer brilliant enlglish-you`ve made only 4 mistakes in 2 sentences!

by: elgun from: quliyev
May 21, 2012 07:27
Good luck Azerbaijan! I love you!!! Light your fire!!!

by: ayan from: eliyeva
May 21, 2012 07:33
Azerbaijan step by step on the successful road. we hope all azerbaijanis of the world good success in the future!!!
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