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Silence over European Games in Azerbaijan is a grim indication of future | Owen Gibson

Poor records in human rights and freedom of the press mean little when wealthy non-democracies are looking to use events as billboards

If you have flicked to BT Sport at any point in the past fortnight, you may have witnessed hours of live coverage of a sporting event beamed in from the very fringes of Europe that appears to have been very professionally staged.

The branding, the sparkling venues, the breathless commentary, even the occasional famous face such as Britain’s Nicola Adams winning gold in the boxing. Inbetween the action, adverts have proclaimed: “From the ancient land of Azerbaijan rises the first European Games”.

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