REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS CALLS FOR RELEASE OF BLOGGERS

July 8th, 2010

Today, 8 July, is the first anniversary of the arrest of bloggers Adnan Hadjizade and Emin Milli.On the first anniversary of the arrest of bloggers Adnan Hadjizade and Emin Milli,Reporters Without Borders called on the Azerbaijani government for their immediate release.   

 

“Arrested on trumped-up charges designed to make them look like criminals, these two bloggers are being persecuted for making fun of corrupt politicians in a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aaecvg7xCIk),” Reporters Without Borders said. “The international community is pressing for their release but the authorities are turning a deaf ear and continuing to openly violate the right to free expression. The pressure must be maintained until their conviction is overturned and they are freed.”     

 

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, Sabail District Court Judge Rauf Ahmadov 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. The investigation of the criminal case was concluded and a criminal case under articles 221.2.1 (hooliganism) and 127 (inflicting intentional minor bodily harm) was opened against E.Millli and A.Hajizade and the case had been sent to court to be considered. According to the verdict of the Sabail district Court, Emin Milli was sentenced to 2,5 years imprisonment and Adnan Hajizade to 2 years imprisonment on 11 November. On 10 March, the Baku Appellate Court adopted a decision to uphold the verdict of the Sabail District Court. Local and international organizations recognized the youth bloggers as prisoners of conscience.