Two Azeri Bloggers receive prison terms

November 12, 2009

On 11th November, despite huge international and internal pressure, Sabail District Court of Baku presided by Justice Araz Huseynov convicted two Azerbaijani bloggers Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade on controversial hooliganism charges. Though many observers and law experts I met during trial considered the process actually won by defense lawyers who in turn, had caught state witnesses on perjury and contradictions and presented many substantial evidences such as these ones, Emin and Adnan received jail sentences of 2,5 and 2 years respectively. No rationale was offered to explain term difference.

The defense plans to appeal the verdict in higher instances till the European Court of Human Rights. International community has strongly condemned the case as political one and Amnesty International has already adopted the bloggers as "prisoners of conscience."

Emin Milli, 30, and Adnan Hajizade, 26, were assaulted and beaten while dining in a downtown Baku restaurant and then detained for hooliganism on early July this year.

Note: this piece was posted with a back date