Hikmat Hajizada about his son

Adnan Hajizada. His friends characterize his social activity the following way - the co-founder of OL! Youth Movement and the author of several campaigns by active youth as well as the satirical videos aired on Internet.

Both local and international media see the latter as the main motive which explains Adnan's arrest - Adnan Hajizada and his friend Emin Milli were arrested for the famous "Interview with the Donkey" satirical video clip. Law and order enforcement bodies reject this idea (you can watch the clip at the end of the text)..We will talk about it a little later.

"Adnan is not involved in affairs of Musavat party and is not interested in what is going inside the party."

Hikmat Hajizada, father of arrested activist Adnan Hajizada and the member of Musavat Council spoke to Radio Liberty:

- Adnan thinks that the party represents the older generation, he has his own circle and friends and according to him, youth should define their own behaviour and their own politics.

- Did he go to Musavat's rallies?

- Yes, whenever he wanted to. As a citizen. There is no such a thing in our family as me taking him. But Adnan has been active since his childhood. Of course, he didn't have any social activity when he was going to school. He chose his way after graduating from university.

- You have been in Musavat party for over 20 years, but you have never been arrested. Do you think Adnan's arrest has got something to do with you?

- Of course, it has. I guess some people are irritated by me and my family. I have said to Adnan many times: "Son, if you want to be socially active, let it be, but please, be cautious!"

- Is Adnan a politician?

- No, Adnan is socially active. Is an "Interview with the Donkey" politics? No! He wanted to see democracy thriving in Azerbaijan.

Those walking in groups of three

This year on May 28, we could see youth walking around in the city in groups of three in white T-shirts. One of them had "A", the other "D" and the third "R" on their T-shirts. Adnan Hajizada was the author of the "ADR unites us!" campaign (ADR stands for Azerbaijani Democratic Republic (1918-1920), an independent but short-lived first republic in the Muslim world interrupted by the rise of Bolsheviks). This day about 16 people were arrested by the police and detained for several hours.

According to his friends, Adnan started his social activities after 2003 presidential elections. But he did this more via his participation in forums and various comments on Internet.

According to "OL!" Movement's Executive Board member Parvana Persiani, Adnan's return from the United States in 2005 coincides with 2005 parliament elections.

Adnan participates in Musavat meetings as a regular citizen. At around the same time the idea about creation of OL! Youth Movement is discussed. In 2006, OL! is created.

Once more about the Donkey

OL! Youth Movement has become famous lately due to its blog and especially, video-clips.

Up to now, youth which is buying the phone costing 400 manats (at around 450 US $) but cannot afford 2 manats (3$) to load it with minutes (criticizing the general widespread tendency to show off among Azerbaijani youth) or youth saying "if you want to hit on a girl, do it somewhere else, not in our neighborhood" (criticizing the fake and sexist notions of "honour" among Azerbaijani youth) have been subjects to "Because I am Azerbaijani" video clips.

"The interview with the Donkey" is a first video clip targeting certain decisions by political establishment and gaining fame even before the arrest of the activists. OL's video clips are posted in the auditoriums with thousands of members (mostly yahoogroups), Facebook social networking site and Youtube.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyyet wrote in its July 16 issue on Adnan's arrest:

"The youth which made a video clip to protest the import of donkeys to Azerbaijan with the money from the state budget were arrested."

"The New York Times" published in United States writes the following: "The donkey costume results in arrest."

According to OL Youth Movement's member Parvana Persiani's comment to the Radio Liberty, the sole purpose of "Interview with the Donkey" video clip was to protest the fact that expensive donkeys from Turkey and Germany were imported with more than $100,000 from the state budget as well as express their opinion and attitude about the law on NGOs.

"Mr. Donkey" or "Mr.President?"

According to the local media, one of causes for Adnan's arrest is that while addressing donkey the expression "Esen Heinz" (Mr. Donkey in German) was pronounced as "Mr.President" in Azerbaijani. OL! Youth Movement categorically denies this.

Citizen Media?

According to media expert Zeynal Mammadli, the activity of OL blog can be defined as "new media" - citizen journalism: "There are two branches in citizen media, one is when the professional media uses citizens' help in preparing media materials and the second is when citizens are socially active and express their opinion about the processes going on in the society." Adnan Hajizada and OL blog can be defined as the latter.

OL's financial resources

OL' member Turgut Gambar speaks to Radio Liberty:

- What is your source of finances?

- Members' fees. We have about 20-30 active members.

- You hold "Debates" twice in a month in a "Diplomat" hotel as well as various meetings. How are these events financed?

- The members hold all of their events for their own money. We collect money among ourselves.

- Is there an interest to your lectures?

- We are trying to create debates on various issues and give voice to all sides. We have sometimes about 100 people attending our debates. There are many students among them. We are inviting various experts from different fields as lecturers.

- Have you received any grants up to now?

- We have received a grant for one project in 2007-2008 and it has been sponsored by NED (National Endowment for Democracy) . This was a project concerning human rights.

Youth Manifesto

he OL! Youth Movement says about itself in its manifesto on the blog:
"OL! Azerbaijani Youth Movement is a non-political, social movement. The main purpose of OL Azerbaijani Youth Movement is the formation of free, independent and responsible youth, the fulfillment of youth's educational, cultural and other non-material needs, as well as helping them in their self-realization and professional excellence. The active participation of youth in the social processes is a critical condition for the formation of civil society."

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