Today, 9 July, NGO leaders and human rights defenders gathered in Azerbaijan Media Center and conducted a discussion in connection with the beating of “Alumni Network” Youth Organization Coordinator, ANTV Online TV Leader Emin Milli and one of “OL” Youth Organization Coordinators, well-known videoblogger Adnan Hajizade during evening hours, and their detention. Both Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade are engaged in civil journalism.
It was reported during the event that Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade were seating at a table and discussing activity of youth organizations related to the internet when two people that looked like sportsmen approached them and demanded that they stop their talks about politics, and insulted them. Then they attacked Emin and Adnan and beat them. Although they appealed to police as injured party, police detained them and freed the attackers after several hours of interrogation.
Azerbaijan Committee against Torture Chairman Elchin Behbudov said that he visited Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade. “Although they both sustained serious injuries in their faces, no situation has been created for them to have medical examination,” said Behbudov.
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov confirmed that they sustained injuries and said that yesterday he saw Adnan Hajizade in front of police department and his nose was broken.
Media Rights Institute Director Rashid Hajili said that Emin and Adnan are accused in hooliganism under article 221.2.1 of the Criminal Code and recalled analogous arrest of “Azadlig” Newspaper Editor-in-chief Ganimat Zahid.
Adnan Hajizade’s father, political scientist Hikmat Hajizade emphasized that both of the youth were arrested for their socio-political activity and work in civil journalism.
Other event participants also noted that the incident was provocation and the arrest is politically motivated. Although Adnan and Emin demanded for a lawyer and the lawyers went to the police department and wanted begin work, the lawyers have not been able to visit them and begin the work in more than 16 hours.
Then it was noted that lawyer Isakhan Ashurov met with Adnan Hajizade, and lawyer Elton Guliyev met with Emin Milli. The lawyers reported that the injured parties had medical examination; however, the participants said they don’t trust the results of the examination.
US Embassy representative Dmitriy Dorokovski said that they regret that this incident happened and are very concerned.
Germany Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pete Stankin also expressed concern about the incident and said that Emin Milli is the interpreter of German Ombudsman who is visiting Azerbaijan. Both ambassadors noted that they will remain in touch and will try to free Adnan and Emin.
At the end of the discussions an appeal was signed and addressed to President Ilham Aliyev and Internal Affairs Minister Ramil Usubov to immediately release both of the youth and punish those that are responsible.