Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Richard Pacelle, professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, to find some answers.
Eurovision, the annual song competition held by the European Broadcasting Union, gets underway this coming weekend.
600 million people from around the world are expected to watch the contest which this year is taking place in the oil rich, country Azerbaijan.
And that means human rights groups will also be watching and calling on the organizers of the event to ensure that the Azerbaijan government stops imprisoning its opposition, beating journalists and destroying homes in the name of development.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say Azerbaijan now has one of the worst records in Europe when it comes to freedom of speech. Even musicians have been attacked for speaking out against the president. The BBC’s Daniel Sandford reports from the Azerbaijani capital Baku.