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Bloggers jailed for satirical donkey video

Friday 12 Mar 2010 12:55p.m.

Bloggers jailed for satirical donkey video

By Dan Satherley

Two Azerbaijani bloggers, jailed after posting a satirical anti-Government video on YouTube, have failed in their latest bid for freedom.

Adnan Hajizade, 26, and Emin Milli, 30, last year were found guilty of 'hooliganism' and jailed for two and two-and-a-half years, respectively.

Authorities say the charges have nothing to do with the video, in which a man dressed in a donkey costume, representing the government, holds a press conference with an adoring press.

Azerbaijan, an oil-rich Muslim nation located in the volatile Caucasus region, is often criticised for its heavy-handed treatment of journalists and restrictive laws concerning free speech and the media.

Hajizade and Milli's case has been taken up by Reporters Without Borders, which has organised protests against their detention in London, Paris and Azerbaijani city Baku, where the duo were sentenced.

Their lawyer has lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, according to tech blog Ars Technica.

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