Thursday, July 9

What a "great" morning- Azeri youth activists detained!

SO I woke up this morning only to see the news of two my really good friends- youth activist and blogger- being severely beaten!

According to an eye witness, Emin and Adnan were beaten up by two "unknown" men while eating in a restaurant down town Baku in the evening last nigh (July 8). 

Not only, guys were detained following the attack, but also one of them Adnan- was charged with 48 hours imprisonment on the basis of "suspicion" and possibly with hooliganism. 

Further updates will be added...

Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli are detained at the police station number 37. The lawyer- Isaham Asurov- was unable to meet them as he wasn't allowed to see them yet. "Their rights have been violated. I am writing a complaint to the court right now". Adnan's father, Hikmet Hajizade sees the arrest as government's way to suppress the civil society movement. "The kids have been beaten, they voluntarily went to the police, and it was them who got arrested [instead of their attackers]" (Radio Azadliq updates).  

Also see: (in english)

Yesterday (July 9) at 14.00, representatives of Embassies, International Organizations, civil societies, youth groups and the media, gathered to publicly condemn the arrests, call for justice and inform the media and the society at a meeting organized by the Public Committee Established for the Protection of Youth Activists. Following an exchange of fierce arguments an open appeal to the President was signed, in addition to a letter, written by human rights activist Leyla Yunus to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 

Today (July 10), Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada are going to stand a trial at the Sabayil District Court of Baku on hooliganism charges (yesterday it was announced by the Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesman Sadiq Gozalov, that it was actually Emin Milli and Adnan themselves who were responsible for the attack and it was them who beat the so called "victims" who were released from the police station from the BACK DOOR!) So, now the perpetrators are Emin and Adnan.

In his statement to the press, Gozalov stressed the hooliganism factor, while denying any political motivation in the arrests. May I remind you that both Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada are active youth representatives and outspoken members of Azerbaijani society. Emin Milli is the Chairman of AN Network and ANTV- well known youth projects critical of the policies of the Azerbaijani government- and Adnan Hajizada is the founder of a popular youth movement OL! 

Gozalov's further statement is even more absurd. The spokesman, while not only taking into account the story of the eye witnesses but also came up with his own version, according to which the group (5-6 people) that was having dinner was making a lot of noise (right, because in a restaurant there has to be a total silence) thus breach the rules (so now restaurants are libraries???). The two initial attackers, who then suddenly turned into victims asked the group to keep it down. "Any person- who has conscience- would do this" said the spokesman adding that this was "the root of the conflict" not some political motivation. 

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