Azerbaijan: Washington DC protest for detained activist bloggers (updated)

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Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Washington DC, USA © Azeri Report

With detained video bloggers Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli now facing an additional charge in their native Azerbaijan, The Collegian says that support for the two imprisoned youth activists yesterday transcended the digital world and spilled out thousands of miles away onto the streets of Washington DC.

Elmar Chakhtakhtinski, organizer of “Rally in support of Adnan Hajizada and Emin Milli” and member of Azerbaijani-Americans for Democracy (AZAD) led a group of roughly 30 protesters, mostly native Azerbaijanis, as they advocated from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the youths’ release, pleading the prisoners’ right to a fair trial and touting an overall message that called for the end of suppression of free speech in Azerbaijan.

Chants of “Free Adnan and Milli,” “Hey, ho, let them go,” “Stop injustice” and “Long live Democracy” filled the street as drivers-by honked in response to a sign that read “Honk for freedom.” Protesters waved Azeri and American flags, wore T-shirts that read “Freedom of Assembly” and “Freedom of Speech” while they held signs portraying Adnan and Milli.

Azeri Report posts many photographs of the action held outside the Azerbaijani Embassy in the U.S. capital. Another action was held recently in Baku, Azerbaijan, a country where demonstrations, regardless of size, are rarely tolerated.

Meanwhile, the blog of the OL! Azerbaijani Youth Movement which Hajizade founded says that one U.S. Congressman believes neither detainee will receive a fair trial when their case is considered starting from 4 September.

US Congressman James Moran of Virginia, a member of the powerful house appropriations committee, has sent a letter to the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, regarding the case of the arrested Azerbaijani bloggers Hajizada and Milli. In the letter Congressman Moran expresses suspicion that the arrest of the bloggers was motivated by their political views, and raises concerns that they will not receive a fair trial in Azerbaijan.

Global Voices Online's continuing coverage of the case against Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli can be found in the Azerbaijan section of this site while updates on Twitter can be found at #EminAdnan.

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Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Washington DC, USA © Azeri Report


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