Emin Milli

Emin Milli

Blog: http://ol-az.blogspot.com/
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
40° 25' 18.696" N, 49° 49' 22.7928" E
Status: Released
Arrested between 08 Jul 2009 and 19 Nov 2010
Campaign Site: http://www.videopetition.blogspot.com/

On 8 July, 2009, Emin Milli, co-founder of the Alumni Network grassroots youth movement and Adnan Hajizada, a video-blogger and co-founder of the the OL! Youth Movement, were seriously beaten by unidentified persons while dining with a group of other civil society and youth activists in a downtown Baku restaurant. After reporting the incident to police, the two activists were instead detained for 48 hours. However, despite international outcry, the two activists were placed in pre-trial detention while a criminal case was opened against both.

By the time of their final court hearing on 11 November 2009, Hajizada and Milli had been held in prison for over four months. Local human rights activists expressed concern about the conduct of the trial which eventually ended with a sentence of 2 years in prison for Hajizada and 2.5 years for Emin Milli.The Presidency of the European Union, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders condemned the verdict.

On 21 November, a petition of appeal against the verdict was submitted by the two men's lawyer. Amnesty International declared both men to be prisoners of conscience. Milli was closely involved with Hajizada as a prominent member of civil society and very well known among youth activists for his Youtube videos. He was also the main force behind establishing alternative online networks and mediums for youth in Azerbaijan to connect and communicate, including AN TV.

On 19 November, a day after the surprise conditional release of Hajizada, Emin Milli was freed.

Global Voices covered the detention, trial and imprisonment of Adnan Hajizada and Emin Milli in its Azerbaijan section. The hashtag #EminAdnan was used on Twitter.

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