CALLS IN CONNECTION WITH RELEASE OF YOUNG BLOGGERS CONTINUE

September 3rd, 2009
Freedom House issued a statement to stop all charges against Emin Milli (Abdullayev) and Adnan Hajizade.    

"The case against Hajizade and Milli raises deeply troubling questions about the rule of law in Azerbaijan," said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House executive director. "This case fits a disturbing pattern under which independent journalists and others seeking to express themselves end up in the criminal justice system."
Azerbaijan Republic Commissioner on Human Rights Elmira Suleymanova appealed to the Sabail District Court. Considering numerous appeals in connection with the bloggers, she asked the court to consider the possibility of alternative punishment to imprisonment that is demanded by the articles under which they are condemned since this is the first time that they have been detained.
Yesterday, 2 September, a protest action was conducted in connection with young bloggers Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade`s arrest in front of Azerbaijan`s  Embassy in Great Britain. The Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety was told this by Youth Rights Defense Committee Coordinator Erkin Gadirli. Erkin Gadirli said that the aim of the action, which was held under the slogan “Freedom for Adnan and Emin” by ”Azerbaijan’s friends” organization, was to demonstrate protest against the arrest of the young bloggers.      
Tomorrow, 4 September in the Sabail District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Araz Huseynov, preliminary hearing will be conducted on the criminal case against young bloggers.  
On 8 July, at approximately 8:00 p.m., Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade were sitting at a table in “Lebonese” (Livan) restaurant along with several other young adults, when two people that looked like sportsmen came up to them, and attacked them causing physical injuries. Although they appealed to police as victims, police detained Adnan and Emin as suspected persons for 48 hours and freed the attackers. On 10 July, Sabail District Court issued a decision under article 221.2.1 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code to sentence Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade to two months pre-trial detention. On July 20 the Appellate Court upheld the decision of the lower court. Investigation of the criminal case was concluded and a criminal case under articles 221.2.1 (hooliganism) and 127 (inflicting intentional minor bodily harm) was instituted against E.Millli and A.Hajizade and the case was sent to court to be considered.