PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION SOCIO-POLITICAL DEPARTMENT HEAD ALI HASANOV EXPRESSES OPINION ON ARREST OF BLOGGERS

November 16th, 2009
Presidential Administration Socio-political Department Head Ali Hasanov expressed his opinion on the arrest of “Alumni Network” youth organization’s coordinator, the head of AN online television, Emin Milli (Abdullayev) and OL youth organization’s coordinator Adnan Hajizade during his interview to Radio Liberty.

“The protest actions of international organizations around the arrest of Adnan Hadjizade and Emin Milli are biased both inside Azerbaijan and abroad,” said Hasanov.

“Every year thousands of people are arrested under hooliganism article in Azerbaijan,” added Ali Hasanov. “Why is not there any reaction about those arrests, but opinions are given about the verdict regarding these bloggers? They can say that bloggers are more intellectual, and closer to the West. However, there is no such section in the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan that can be used to give less punishment for being intellectual or close to West.”

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, the 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. 11 November, the investigation opened criminal case under article 221.2.1(hooliganism) and 127 (inflicting intentional minor bodily harm) against young bloggers Emin Abdullayev (Millli) and Adnan Hajizade a verdict was issued. According to the verdict, Emin Milli was sentenced to 2,5 years imprisonment and Adnan Hajizade to 2 years imprisonment.