On Emin, Adnan and students educated abroad

Kamil Piriyev

Yesterday Baku Appeals Court rejected Adnan and Emin's first appeal. The court process was held behind closed doors. Despite the fact that their lawyers complained of the court's composition, their complain was not listened to. Emin and Adnan were charged of hooliganism and the decision of 2 months detention was kept in force.

The fact that the court was closed is an indication of two things: first, because the traces of beatings and bruises remain, it is not advisable to show the youth to the public. And second, the court did not want to shame itself it even more by reiterating such a ridiculous accusation.

I just wanted to express my opinion about certain things with this writing. I don't have any intention to accuse anyone, but I simply want to draw your attention to two facts and ask you to make conclusions yourself:

There is a video surveillance at "Lebanese" restaurant. If I wouldn't see this, I wouldn't write about this. I think the investigation would consider these videos after such an accusation. I am sure these video images would clear many doubts.

Recently I read in one of the newspapers an opinion of one of the witnesses. According to him, because there are many people at "Lebanese" restaurant at first they ordered a table. A couple of days before the event took place, I went to "Lebanese" with a friend. But because there were no people inside, we left and went to the other place to have dinner. According to the same witness, when the event took place, there was noone there (except the ones who were with Adnan and Emin). The witness also denied charges against him that he called his friends there on purpose.

Emin and Adnan are bright representatives of about more than 10,000 of Azerbaijani youth who were educated abroad. Their social activities are known not simply to the youth, but the government as well. When one reads in the media about the national authorities' claim to having never heard about them, another lie emerges. Two years ago Azerbaijani students held forums in different capitals of Europe and many officials took part in these forums, ranging from low levels all the way up to ministers. Emin Milli was one of organizers of these forums. It is enough to look at AzTV's archives.

Even in the opposition today, there is a jealousy towards Emin and Adnan. If it would not have been so, there wouldn't have been an article in the major opposition newspaper about Emin and Adnan's plot about doing an "orange" revolution with US support. This is because, this youth did not share the views of traditional opposition. This would mean creation of new competition in the old political arena. As a matter of fact, the youth were engaged in social and not political activism. They were particularly interested in educating the society.

One cannot surely claim that the provocation against the youth is coming from the government's highest echelon. It is clear that the youth with Western education constitutes the major target. The purpose is to scare off the most active ones. If Adnan and Emin are arrested on the base of wrong accusation, it would be easier to silence the other ones to a certain extent. But if the government indeed takes this step, it will be the one to lose. It would be much better if the government would work with this youth instead of being afraid of them.

It is not a secret that today there are youth who got their education abroad and now are back to the country and working at important positions. At the same time, the majority of Azerbaijan's new bourgeoisie (the children of current officials and rich people) has gotten its education abroad and their attitude to the processes and situation in the country is different from their parents'. Apart from that, the government has accepted a program according to which 5000 young people will be sent abroad till 2015 to get education. Today there are abut 5000 young people who got their education in Europe or United States and didn't return to Azerbaijan due to the lack of perspectives. It would be better if the government would have used this potential of human resources and would not have lost it completely.

Be cautious!

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