Who is Emin Milli?

Emin Milli announces that he will break the information blockade and spread the ideas of change in November 2008 at the FASE (Forum of Azerbaijani Students in Europe) meeting in London.

"Manifesto of Change" in London

Emin Milli was one of the founders of FASE in London. Two years afterwards he was saying at FASE forum in London:

"I want your and my children to know why is it important to respect the legacy of Azerbaijani Democratic Republic or listen to the Radio Liberty. I also want them to know why is it important to have a system where one president cannot be elected more than twice and have monopoly and corruption removed."

Emin Milli announces at the same forum that in order to spread these ideas among the public he is leaving FASE.

The auditorium of at least 5500 people and the modern educator

Only in Facebook social netweorking website Emin Milli has more than 3,000 "friends" - these people everyday receive the information that he was spreading.

Emin Milli was mostly posting information on democracy and human rights.

One of the most famous student yahoogroups - "Astudents" group was also formed by AN Network, which was co-founded by Emin. "Astudents" has more than 2500 members.

Emin Milli was sending information to "Astudents" yahoogroup several times a day.

"Emin is a philosopher of a change in the society"

Is Emin Milli a politician? His friends answer to this question categorically: No! He doesn't have ambitions for the government and power.

One of the co-founders of AN network Elnara Jivazada says: "Emin is a philosopher of a change in the society."

His friends also note that Emin is pro-change which comes with education and non-violence.

From the words of his spouse

Emin Milli's spouse Leyla Kerimli is obtaining her PhD degree in Columbia University in New York. According to her, Emin Milli doesn't work anywhere officially right now, he is a freelance translator and also lectures at various meetings.

Leyla Kerimli spoke to Radio Liberty:

- Emin is a man of ideas. There are people who think of about career and money, but Emin is not like that. What is important for Emin is having youth which is able to think independently in Azerbaijan and be able to work for Azerbaijan's bright future.

- According to "Yeni Musavat" newspaper Emin Milli was trying to bring the change of government, an "orange revolution" sponsored by US.

- This is a nonsense. I don't know where did they obtain this information from. Emin is not anyone's protege, he was offered to stay abroad many times, but he refused. And why should it a person who is organizing a revolution make an open protest in front of United Nations? If "Yeni Musavat" is having a claim on professionalism, then they should print their material based on actual sources and concrete materials, not absurd speculations.

"Yeni Musavat" newspaper printed on July 14 notes that Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada were the implementers of "orange revolution" plan masterminded in US.

Emin Milli's US visits

According to Emin Milli's spouse Leyla Kerimli, Emin Milli first went to US in 2001.

He took part in the "European decision taking process" student conference in New York University. This happened during the period when Emin was studying at Saarbrukend. According to Leyla, once Emin was a translator during National Customs Committee and Head Prosecutor's Office trip to the US.

Since August 2008 Emin Milli has visited US several times to see his spouse.


Emin Milli (Abdullayev) was born in Baku in 1979. He graduated from Baku State University in 1999, with a Bachelor's degree in International Law and International Relations and obtained his Master's degree from the European Saarbruecken Law School in Germany.

Emin worked as coordinator in International Republican Institute (IRI) office in Baku in 1999-2000 and as director of Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Azerbaijan in 2002-2004.

In 2002-2004 he also served as an advisor to the European Council on political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

In 2005, Emin Milli worked as an assistant to the political commentator in OSCE Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) election observation mission.

AN Network

The biographical information above was given to Radio Liberty by one of Emin Milli's friends, Elnure Jivezadeh. According to Jivezadeh, Emin Milli creates an Alumni Network in 2005 with other alumni studying abroad and starts advising youth on studying abroad. AN Network is not an NGO, it is not implementing any project, doesn't have an office or any structure, doesn't have a chairman and has never received any grant. Its main purpose is information exchange.

He is holding a signature campaign in Baku universities

In 2005 Emin Abdullayev takes a pseudonym of Milli and according to his friends, starts a more serious social activity. His friends say that this pseudonym has got nothing to do with "nationalism." (milli means "national" in Azerbaijani)

In 2005, Emin Milli starts a signature campaign in Baku universities. The idea is sending every year 5,000 students abroad to study with the oil money. Milli manages to collect thousands of signatures, but in the same year the president signs a decree to send students abroad for getting education. However, not 5,000 students a year, but 5,000 students in a certain period.

As we mentioned above, in 2006 Emin forms FASE and in 2008 he leaves it. After that, according to his own words, he is trying to break through information blockade on Internet. Yet Emin is not simply content with virtual space. He also goes out to the streets of Baku.

Everything started with a bunch of flowers

Media started writing about Emin Milli since last year. On May 28, 2008 Emin Milli and his friends put flowers to the fountain in the center of the city. The fountain had a special significance as it was supposed to be a place where the founder of Azerbaijani Democratic Republic's Mammad Emin Resulzadeh's bust would be built. However, fountain was built instead and Emin and his friends wanted to honor Resulzadeh's memory on ADR's Independence Day. They were detained by the police and held for several hours.

Culmination: Azerbaijanis protest in America

In January of this year, Azerbaijanis living in America held a protest in front of the United Nations against the change in the Constitution which would authorize one person to become a president for life. Emin Milli was a group member of AZAD, an organization which was one of the main organizers of the protest.

In April 2009, Emin Milli makes a very sharp and critical statement about the changes in the Azerbaijani constitution in Columbia University in New York.

Two carnations at the Flower Holiday

The police detained Emin for the last time this May, on the birthday of late president Heydar Aliyev. On that day, Milli came with his friends to commemorate those who died in Azerbaijan State Oil Academy shootings. To protest the Flower Festival Milli and his friends brought two carnations (usually reserved for funerals) and were standing close to the place where the Flower Holiday was held. The Flower Holiday was held on late president Heydar Aliyev's birthday. The police detained Milli along with other protesters for several hours.

And finally "Lebanese"...

On July 8, 2009 Emin together with six other friends was sitting at the bar of "Lebanese" restaurant when, according to eyewitness accounts there was an attack from the neighboring table and Emin and his friend, Adnan Hajizada were beaten. After they filed a complaint to the police station they were detained as accused of hooliganism. According to a joint statement made by Baku City Head Prosecutor's Office and Ministry of Internal Affairs, they used ethically inappropriate words loudly at the bar. Two other people at the bar, Babak Huseynov and Vusal Mammadov wanted to reproach them for their behavior, yet Emin and Adnan used violence against those two and physically abused them.

"Youth like Emin Milli had great hopes about Ilham Aliyev"...

According to the political analyst Rauf Mirgedirov, the youth like Emin Milli had great hopes about Ilham Aliyev till 2005 and regarded him as far sighted leader who knows foreign languages and has a Western mindset. "Yet after 2005, as freedom's circle got narrower and narrower, these youth were very disappointed. They chose a new, alternative method for their struggle through information technologies."

"More dangerous than the opposition"

According to Rauf Mirgedirov, this youth is even more dangerous to the government than the opposition, because while the youth at opposition parties' youth organizations was patriotic, it didn't have a good education. Youth like Emin is both patriotic and at the same time they have wider possibilities and links as they studied abroad. "This is why the government in worrying about the increase in online auditorium of these youth."

The Executive Secretary of New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) Ali Ahmedov noted in his press conference to the journalists that Emin Milli's arrest is not politically motivated and the affair should not be politicized.

Head Prosecutor's Office and Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a joint statement, where they asked the embassies which condemned Adnan Hajizada's and Emin Milli's arrest not to interfere in the investigation process.

"Reporters Without Borders" introduces Emin Milli as a "blogger", yet in Azerbaijan Emin Milli is known more as a person spreading information on various forums and social networks.

To see original article in azeri click here

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