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Azerbaijani Activists Denied Release Before Trial

The two activists being arrested early on July 9.

The two activists being arrested early on July 9.

Two youth activists, Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada, have been ordered in a closed court hearing to be held in detention for two months until the next hearing in their trial, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Judge Rauf Ahmedov on July 10 also dismissed an appeal to allow journalists, human rights activists, and foreign diplomats to attend the trial, "in violation of international conventions," according to their lawyer, Isakhan Ashurov.

The two were charged with hooliganism after police said they "beat up and caused severe injuries" to Babak Huseynov and Vusal Mammadov, who "tried to restore order in a restaurant," where Milli, Hajizada, and five other activists were dining on July 8.

All seven activists said they had been talking about politics when one of the two men sitting at the next table approached them and hit Milli. Both Milli and Hajizada were injured, but were denied proper medical examination in the police station, lawyers said.

The police claimed Mammadov was hospitalized on July 9 as a result of his injuries, but a correspondent of RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service did not find any record of this in the hospital's log.