Azerbaijan: Happy Birthday, Emin Milli

hands_offWednesday saw the 30th birthday of detained youth activist Emin Milli, now on trial in Azerbaijan along with OL! youth movement founder and video blogger Adnan Hajizade. Milli, responsible for alternative video reports posted online, celebrated the day in prison.

His friends worldwide, however, also marked the day in what was billed on numerous Facebook pages as a day for Global Emotional Warming. Twitter was also used to spread the news.
birthday tweet

Fighting windmills? Take a pill explains more.

Your friends and supporters gathered together all around the world to celebrate the day of Global Emotional Warming (that's how we named your birthday), to remember stories about you, to drink for both you and Adnan and even sing ‘Happy birthday’ in Azerbaijani. Your birthday became a flashmob of parties in London, Paris, Strasbourg, Istanbul, Ankara, Budapest, New York, Houston, Moscow, Basel and other cities of the World.

Other friends with blogs also posted entries to mark the occasion and toast their imprisoned friend. Support Adnan and Emin said that the event represented freedom and solidarity everywhere.

What happened this night?

Did you hear this whisper?

Did you hear this song of Freedom?

Emin was physically in a prison in Baku but he celebrated his birthday all around the world!

Baku is sometimes called the city of winds… Well yesterday, wind was blowing. It was a gust of wind that inspired us in Baku, in Istanbul, in Moscow, in Essex, in London, in Paris, in Strasbourg, in Budapest, in New York etc.

Emin was in prison but he was also in the voice of a Georgian singer in Budapest, in the heart of an Azerbaijani student in Essex, in the soul of a French girl in Strasbourg, in the veins of a young blogger in Baku, singing with his friends in Istanbul and drinking in an English pub…

Freedom and solidarity were everywhere.

Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines agrees.

Yesterday (October 14th) friends across several cities around the world, celebrated one person's birthday. Emin Milli turned 30. And though right now, he is behind bars in some God forsaken detention facility in Azerbaijan, his friends and supporters all around, showed once again that freedom has no boundaries, nor does friendship.

London, Essex, Istanbul, Paris, Strasbourg, Baku, Moscow and New York were among those few cities where Emin's friends got together to raise their glasses to a one very bright young man.

The blogger also remembers that Milli's associate and friend, Adnan Hajizade, spent his birthday in prison in July, as does Ali S. Novruzov in an entry on the Frontline Club blog. L4L, a new Azeri blog, even says that a local Baku-based rock band dedicated a concert to Milli.

Talking about normal… Yesterday one of the most talented Azerbaijani rock-bands Ozan […] dedicated their usual gig at Corner-pub in Baku to Emin Milli’s birthday. This is a very courageous move for Azerbaijan. This is the move that shows heart and fearlessness. When I said their singer and guitarist Nurlan halaldir(“all hail”) today, he answered: “Ilkin, it’s normal”.

No, Nurlan, it’s not normal. People that surround us every day are normal. Living their lives, not even trying to know what is going on. Too scared to go beyond normal. What you have done was beyond normal! […]

Meanwhile, as the trial of Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade continues, Global Voices Online also wishes both detained blogger activists belated birthday greetings and hopes for their speedy release in a trial which most independent observers consider to be politically motivated.


More details on the case against the two video bloggers and youth activists is available in English on the OL! blog. Coverage in Azerbaijani is also available. The online Azerbaijan Network Television has also posted more videos of events worldwide celebrating Milli's birthday.

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