INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS’ FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

September 3rd, 2009
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety calls on Azerbaijan’s administration to drop all charges against “Alumni Network” Youth Organization Representative Emin Milli (Abdullayev) and one of “OL” Youth Organization Coordinators, well-known video-blogger Adnan Hajizade to release them tomorrow during a hearing which will be held in the Sabail District Court.

IRFS emphasizes that the young bloggers were charged for “hooliganism.” However, they were arrested for placing critical material of the government on the internet.
On 8 July Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade were beaten and sustained injuries. Although they appealed to police as victims, police detained Adnan and Emin as suspected persons and freed the attackers. They were sentenced to two months pre-trial detention and a criminal case was instituted against them. E.Milli and A.Hajizade did not receive necessary medical assistance while they were held in the police department and their lawyers were not allowed to visit them.
Investigation of the criminal case opened against them under article 221.2.1 (hooliganism) was conducted unfairly and was observed with law violations. During the investigation into the case, a different indictment under article 127 (inflicting intentional minor bodily harm) was instituted against E.Millli and A.Hajizade.
IRFS reminds that “Azadlig” Newspaper Editor-in-chief was thrown into prison over the same spurious charges in 2007.
IRFS calls on Azerbaijan’s government to demonstrate political will and to immediately release wrongfully imprisoned journalists and young bloggers Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade.