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Released Azeri Blogger Listened To RFE While In Prison


Adnan Hajizade speaks to reporters after being released from jail in Baku.

Adnan Hajizade speaks to reporters after being released from jail in Baku.

Despite his imprisonment, Azeri blogger and youth activist Adnan Hajizade was still able to get information from the outside world – thanks to RFE's Azerbaijani Service, Radio Azadliq.

Following this week's early release of the two Azeri political bloggers jailed last year on widely disputed charges of “hooliganism,” Hajizade spoke about the important role that RFE’s broadcasts played during his months of confinement.

“I spent the last 17 months in isolation,” he says. “The guards would allow us to watch only state-run TV and read only state-run newspapers. But in my cell I had a radio, and every night I would get up on my table so I could adjust my radio's antenna closer to the window in order to have a better reception of Radio Azadliq on short-wave. The reception was bad, crackly, like in old Soviet times. But still RFE was able to get the news to us.”

Adnan Hajizade was released on November 18 after being sentenced last year to two years of imprisonment. He spoke to RFE’s Radio Azadliq just hours after being discharged.

- John Cleveland
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