Eurovision may now be over, but the controversy over Azerbaijan's freedom-of-speech practices keeps grooving on.
The latest matters at hand kicked off with the burlesque. Norwegian-Iranian satirist Amir Asgharnejad, a sort of Norwegian version of Borat, claimed he was stripped and forced by Azerbaijani policemen to step on an Iranian flag in the Baku airport, Norwegian media reported. Norway reportedly nearly pulled its Eurovision contestant, Tooji, out of the contest over the incident and a diplomatic exchange is ongoing.
In the run-up to Eurovision, Asgharnejad, who has a comedy news show on Norwegian public television, pretended to be a reporter from Iran and dispatched several tongue-in-cheek video reports from Baku, one of which described Azerbaijan as a "lousy country" that "has lived in the shadow of great Iran," and is now busy "draining the earth for oil" with help from "their Satan worshiping partners from the West."
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