Emin Milli is a journalist and dissident from Azerbaijan. Imprisoned, threatened, and still going strong: using media to communicate to wider audiences the major problems with human rights in the dictatorship Azerbaijan. It is the country where Award-winning investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova was sent to jail for 7,5 years last week and where journalist Rasim Aliyev was beaten to dead in August: just two examples of the crackdown on independent journalism and critical voices that has already affected many journalists.
Emin Milli, 'Azeri rebel with a cause', is nominated for the Human Rights Tulip: a Dutch annual award for individuals or organizations that promote human rights worldwide in innovative ways. Until the 16th of September, voting for candidates is open on the website.
Azerbaijan wants to portrait itself as a country that respects human rights and rule of law, but in reality the government is responsible for harsh repression of activists, civil society and journalists and is responsible to enormous corruption. The government spent 8 billion USD in hosting the European Games. Emin Milli was the most outspoken criticizer of this waste of public money, locally and globally in international media. Because of his criticism Milli received death threats from President Aliyev, sent to him via his sport minister. Milli lives in Germany, and is often relocated to make sure that there is no constant pattern of behavior to identify the place where he permanently stays.
Emin Milli is the founder and director of www.meydan.tv, one of few independent media platforms for Azerbaijan. Within the context of Azerbaijan, Meydan TV has created renewed space for independent media through social media. Meydan TV has become the digital platform that spreads the news on Facebook, Youtube and on its website. The audience is constantly growing: 1 million views per month on YouTube, 2 millions views on Facebook and 7 000 Unique IP's per day on the website. Meydan TV is based in Germany, Georgia and Azerbaijan, without any tangible infrastructure in Azerbaijan. This saves this entity from complete destruction.
With the nomination of our partner Emin Milli for the Human Rights Tulip, we draw attention to the decreasing space for journalists and critical voices in Azerbaijan. And we want Emin Milli to be able to continue his incredible work with Meydan.TV in support of exposing Human Rights violations in Azerbaijan. Please vote for him at the latest on the 16th of september on http://www.humanrightstulip.nl/candidates-and-voting/emin-milli.
The votes have been counted, with 1250 votes Emin Milli ended up on the 9th place of 30 contestants. Now the top three will be selected and three wild cards will be given away. The price will be awarded on December 10th.