INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS’ FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

August 19th, 2010

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Institute (IRFS) is concerned regarding the decision of the Supreme Court to keep bloggers Emin Milli (Abdullayev) and Adnan Hajizade in prison.

Today the Supreme Court failed to fulfill the cassation appeal of youth bloggers and upheld the decision of the lower court.

IRFS states that this decision proves once again that the arrest of the bloggers was politically motivated. The government continues to take revenge the bloggers because of the critical video recording “Interview with Esel Heinz.” There’s no evidence that they committed hooliganism; however, there are photos depicting how they were beaten. As a result they appealed to the police. During their arrest they were first denied medical assistance and than a lawyer of their choice. Babak Huseynov and Vusal Mammadov who were recognized as injured parties did not join court trials and the courts did not secure their participation in the hearings. Adnan Hajizade’s lawsuit to be freed early was not fulfilled.

IRFS urges Azerbaijani government to immediately release Emin Milli (Abdullayev) and Adnan Hajizade and Editor-in-chief of Realniy Azerbaijan and Gundelik Azerbaijan newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev. IRFS calls on international community to condemn Azerbaijan’s stance towards freedom of speech and expression.