Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Azerbaijan's "spin" on the Conviction of Two Bloggers

Nearly a week after two bloggers were convicted on trumped-up charges of hooliganism, the Azeri authorities are responding. Ali Hasanov, who is the deputy of the Parliament and also part of the presidential apparatus, says "the judicial system in Azerbaijan is independent and executive authorities cannot affect its decisions." He adds that "Azerbaijan has more freedom of speech, than such European countries as Germany and France."

Hasanov is quoted in various news reports.

On November 11th, the two bloggers, Adnan Hajizada and Emin Milli were sentenced to two-and-a-half years and two years, respectively, in prison on the charge of hooliganism.

They were arrested last July after being beaten up as they dined at a restaurant with friends. Adnan and Emin have criticized the government in their blog.

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