Cookies improve the way our website works, by using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies .

Adrienne Warren

Eurovision Finals & Human Rights… From Azerbaijan to Sweden

The finals for the Eurovision Song Contest will take place this Saturday in Malmö, Sweden. The rules of Eurovision state that the country which won the preceding year’s contest must host the event 12 months later, last year Sweden won with singer Loreen and her song, Euphoria. This year, more than 130 million people across the world are expected to watch the contest.

The Turning Torso, Malmö, Sweden. author: mescon. source: Flickr

The Turning Torso, Malmö, Sweden. author: mescon. source: Flickr

Sweden’s stint as host as not been without controversy, however, with the communications giant TeliaSonera acting as the event’s main sponsor. TeliaSonera caught international attention last year when it was accused of paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbekistan‘s president, in order to gain access to that Central Asian country’s massive mobile-phone market. This move angered human rights activists, especially after hopes that Sweden would use the opportunity to promote human rights, after previous host Azerbaijan caused outcry for its oppressive crackdowns during the contest.

[blackbirdpie url=”″]

TeliaSonera, which is now facing years of investigation and potential criminal charges, has attempted to improve its image. The company’s CEO, Lars Nyberg  has already vacated his post, along with a number of board members. The company has also signed on to new industry principles on freedom of expression and privacy.

Amidst potential scandal, the final Eurovision lineup for this year has today been released, and is as follows:

1. France

2. Lithuania

3. Moldova

4. Finland

5. Spain

6. Belgium

7. Estonia

8. Belarus

9. Malta

10. Russia

11. Germany

12. Armenia

13. The Netherlands

14. Romania

15. United Kingdom

16. Sweden

17. Hungary

18. Denmark

19. Iceland

20. Azerbaijan

21. Greece

22. Ukraine

23. Italy

24. Norway

25. Georgia

26. Ireland

Watch a recap of the original 39 contestants:

And you can watch the Finals here

Read also on RFERL:  Songs About Greek Crisis, Gay Marriage Reach Eurovision Final

sources: RFE/RL

[mappress mapid=”2241″]

Facebook Comments

Graduated in International Relations and Russian. Resident of Estonia, but a citizen of the world. Most interested in contributing to the progress and education of mankind--as the primary tool of achieving global unity.

Load all