Protest Rally Was Held in Washington, DC in Support of Adnan Hajizada and Emin Milli

WASHINGTON. August 28, 2009. A protest rally, organized by Azerbaijani-Americans for Democracy (AZAD), was held today in front of Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington, DC, in support of the arrested bloggers Adnan Hajizada and Emin Milli. The action was called at the initiative of a group of Azerbaijani-Americans and was attended by about 40 people from different cities in the United States, including representatives of Azerbaijani-American community, Reporters Without Borders, University of Richmond and other American public.

Holding US and Azerbaijani flags, protesters chanted slogans and held posters demanding freedom for Adnan Hajizada, Emin Milli, Ganimat Zahid, Eynulla Fatullayev and other Azerbaijani journalists and political prisoners, and denouncing the repression of free speech and dictatorship in Azerbaijan. Some of the slogans included “Free Azeri Bloggers, Arrest Corrupt Azeri Officials”, “Ilham Aliyev, You Are Responsible For Arrest of Adnan and Emin”, “Freedom for Adnan and Emin”, “Respect Free Speech and Human Rights”, “Rule by Law Not by Force”, “Down with Tyranny”, “Long Live Republic, Down with Monarchy” and others.

A representative of Reporters Without Borders, Clothilde Le Coz, has read a statement at the rally, demanding the immediate release of Adnan and Emin and noted that “Hooliganism and defamation are the charges usually used in Azerbaijan to suppress free expression. These two bloggers have been paying a high price for the dishonesty of the authorities ever since their arrest, as well as other journalists before them.”

Some protesters wore donkey masks, recalling that one of the suspected reasons for Adnan and Emin’s arrest by the authorities was the “donkey interview” video made by their networks about the import of expensive foreign donkeys into Azerbaijan. One sign had a donkey mask on it with “$41,000 Foreign Donkey Imported into Azerbaijan” written below it.

The rally opened and ended with Azerbaijani National Anthem, and the famous overture of opera “Koroglu” by Azeribaijani composer Hajibayov was also played throughout the protest action. A petition was delivered on behalf of participants of the rally to the staff of Azerbaijani Embassy. Azerbaijani-Americans for Democracy (AZAD) stated that actions in support of Adnan and Emin will continue until the bloggers are freed. (Azerreport)


To see original article click here

No comments: