Court confirms pre-trial detention for two bloggers.

Published on 20 July 2009

Reporters Without Borders condemns today’s Baku appeal court decision confirming a two-month detention order for bloggers Adnan Hadji Zadeh and Emin Mili pending their trial on trumped-up charges of hooliganism. They have been held since 8 July.

“There are absolutely no grounds for this decision, which bodes ill for free expression in Azerbaijan,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We reiterate our call for the release of Zadeh and Mili, who are being held for political reasons, not because they committed any crime. They have been paying a high price for the dishonesty of the authorities ever since their arrest.”

Zadeh and Mili were not allowed to attend today’s hearing but were represented by their lawyers. One of them described the court’s decision as illegal and said they would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Zadeh’s father told Reporters Without Borders : “Adnan and Emin are being punished for their commitment as citizens and for the videos they posted online.”

Reporters Without Borders wrote to the justice minister on 17 July calling for the release of Zadeh and Mili, who are facing up to five years in prison on the hooliganism charges.

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