SOUTH CAUCASUS NETWORK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS STATEMENT

July 20th, 2009
The South Caucasus Network for Human Rights Defenders issued a statement in connection with the detention of young bloggers, their beating, and denial of timely medical assistance to them.

It is said in the statement:

July17, 2009, Bazaleti, Georgia   

The South Caucasus Network for Human Rights Defenders condemns arbitrary detention, beatings and denial of timely medical assistance to Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli (Abdullayev).

Adnan Hajizade is the coordinator of “OL” Youth Organization and well-known video-blogger, Emin Milli is the chairman of Alumni Network (AN) Youth Organisation and leader of ANTV Online TV, in Baku on July 8, 2009.  According to the information received by the Network, at around 8 pm on July 8, 2009, two athletic type young men severely assaulted Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli, while they were sitting in a Baku restaurant, asking them “Why do you criticize the government?”  

When they went to the police station to complain about the assaults, the police of the Sabail District denied medical assistance to Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli and detained them under charges of hooliganism (Article 221.2.1 of the Azerbaijani Criminal Code). Both were denied access to the lawyers of their own choice until the following day. On July 10, 2009 the Sabail District Court ordered the activists to be detained for two months in pre-trial detention.  

The detention of Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli seems to be exclusively motivated by a wish to sanction them because of their recent activities.  

The South Caucasus Network for Human Rights Defenders wants to remind Azerbaijani authorities that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention as guaranteed by the Azerbaijani Constitution the European Convention on Human Rights.   

The 30 NGOs within the South Caucasus Network for Human Rights Defenders urge the Azerbaijani authorities to  

    * Immediately  release Adnan Hajizade, and Emin Milli in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, or, if such charges exist, bring them before an impartial, independent, competent and fair tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times;
    * Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the events, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, impartial tribunal
    * Guarantee physical and psychological integrity of Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli (Abdullayev) as required by the international human rights obligations which are binding on Azerbaijan.
    * Ensure that both are examined by independent doctors and receive adequate medical care.