EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS OPENS DISCUSSIONS WITH AZERBAIJANI GOVERNMENT ON APPEAL OF YOUTH BLOGGER EMIN MILLI AND ADNAN HAJIZADA’S APPEAL

May 18th, 2011
The European Court of Human Rights has opened communications with the Azerbaijani government on the case of Adnan Hajizada and Emin Milli (Abdullayev).

The Legal Education Society reports that the bloggers’ are being represented by lawyers Isakhan Asurov Elton Guliyev at both the local level and at the ECHR.
On 8 July 2009, Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade were sitting at a table in “Lebonese”  (Livan) restaurant along with several other young adults, when two people who looked like sportsmen came up to them and attacked them. Milli and Hajizade were both physically injured in the attack. Although they appealed to the police as victims, the police detained Milli and Hajizade as suspects but freed the attackers. They were sentenced to 2.5 and 2 years in jail respectively. Adnan Hajizada was released on November 18, 2010 under an Appeals Court decision, and Milli on 19 November under Salyan District Court decision.
In their appeal, the appellants refer to violation of following articles of European Convention of Human Rights.
– Article 3–  The appelants were not provided with adequate medial aid; handcuffed, questioned for hours.
– Articles 5.1(c), 5.3 and 5.4 – The appelants were charged with crimes of which they were not guilty, and detained, as well as illegally sentenced to pre-trial detention.  
– Articles 6.1, 6.3(b), 6.3(c) and 6.3(d)– the appelants said that the trial on their case was unfair, they were not provided with sufficient time and means to prepare for their defense, were refused legal aid  when the criminal case was launched, and the court refused to investigate the evidences submitted by defendant side, and to question the witnesses.
– Article 6.2 – 11 and 14 July 2009 statements of the law-enforcement agencies violated their right to presumption of innocence.
– Article 8 – without giving any justification, their families were prohibited from meeting with the appelants during pre-trial detention.
– Article  10 – Appelants believe that 8 July 2009 incident is a provocation set up by the government with the intent to punish them for their criticism of government and public activities.
The ECHR has addressed relevant questions to the Azerbaijani government.