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Baku Court Delays 'Donkey Bloggers' Hearing


Bloggers Adnan Hajizada (left) and Emin Milli in court on December 22

Bloggers Adnan Hajizada (left) and Emin Milli in court on December 22

An Azerbaijani court has postponed the hearing into an appeal by two bloggers jailed on what supporters say were politically motivated charges, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Adnan Hajizada and Emin Milli were sentenced in November to two and 2 1/2 years in jail on hooliganism charges after a scuffle at a restaurant during the summer.

Both maintain that they were attacked in the restaurant in a politically motivated provocation related to their criticism of the government.

At a brief hearing in Baku today, both men protested as their alleged victims, Babak Huseynov and Vusal Mammadov, did not appear in court.

The judge rescheduled the hearing for January 22.

Hajizada and Milli requested the men's presence at the hearing. The judge accepted their request and said Huseynov and Mammadov would be called to court to attend the next hearing scheduled for January 22.

International organizations and activists have called the charges against Hajizada and Milli politically motivated and the European Parliament last month called for their immediate release in a resolution critical of media freedom in Azerbaijan.

Both men are active in youth groups that have been highly critical of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

One group recently circulated a video of a press conference with an activist in a donkey suit that mocked government corruption.
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