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BBC TwoThis World


Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
How To Plan A Revolution
Two young political activists, Murad and Emin, are on a mission. They want to overthrow the government in Azerbaijan by staging a peaceful "Orange" revolution.

Filmed over three months in the run-up to parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan in November 2005, This World profiles Murad and Emin as they make their plans and attempt to carry them out.

Pro-democracy youth movement demonstration
How To Plan A Revolution
Thursday 20 April 2006
2100 BST on BBC Two

They are inspired by similar opposition movements in Serbia, Georgia and the Ukraine, where mass protests following elections removed authoritarian regimes from power.

The difference for these two men however, is that the West is not in favour of a revolution in Azerbaijan.

Although the US say the country has a dismal human rights record and the Council of Europe has reported the torture of political prisoners there, Azerbaijan is a Muslim ally in the "war on terror" and has troops in Iraq.

It also has oil.

So with no support from the West, Murad and Emin need all the help they can get.

Vote rigging

We follow Murad to Georgia, where he meets the revolutionary movement Kmara.

NOTE ADDED: 25 October 2006
Director Ivan O'Mahoney and producer Shahida Tulaganova won the Berlin Prix Europa Award 2006 for this film

To start a revolution, they say, it is crucial to start celebrating victory on the night of the elections, no matter what their outcome.

But the authorities are taking precautions.

We see how the Azeri pro-democracy youth movements, one of them founded by Emin, are decapitated by the arrest of their leadership and how protests against these arrests are violently broken up by police.

Explosives are planted in the youth movements' headquarters in order to discredit them, opposition rallies are smashed and Murad himself gets arrested.

On election day, observers confirm the elections are flawed but the opposition are too scared to seize the moment.

When they finally organise a peaceful sit-in in Baku - hoping to start the revolution - the government responds decisively. Riot troops are sent in and the crowd is dispersed.

With no foreign support, the opposition is powerless to continue.

And even worse for Murad and Emin... the US endorses the election results.

Director: Ivan O'Mahoney
Producer: Shahida Tulaganova
Executive producer: Karen O'Connor

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