Wife Of Azerbaijani 'Donkey Blogger' Speaks Out
11-Nov-2010 (one comment)

One year ago, a court in Azerbaijan sentenced youth activists Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada to jail terms of 2 1/2 and two years, respectively, in a case that has generated interest far beyond the Caucasus.

Dubbed the "donkey bloggers," the two men had posted a satirical video shortly before their arrest in which a person dressed as a donkey led a government press conference.

The sentences, handed down on charges of hooliganism, were condemned by rights groups, who say Milli and Hajizada were victimized for crossing the regime of President Ilham Aliyev.

On the anniversary of the bloggers' imprisonment, RFE/RL correspondent Richard Solash spoke with Leyla Karimli, the New York-based wife of Emin Milli, about her husband's case, the campaign to release him, and the state of civil rights in Azerbaijan.

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from RFE: Spooked by the volatility of restless and tech-savvy youth in neighboring Iran, the Azerbaijani government was sending a message to a new generation of opposition-minded youth who have courageously used Internet technologies to circumvent their government's stranglehold on the media. The message was clear: You can have your Turkish soap operas on YouTube, your 24-hour soccer channels and dating sites, but stay out of politics.