Adnan Hajizada, Azerbaijani activist and University of Richmond alumnus, lost his most recent appeal on Wednesday, causing his supporters to continue to criticize the government.
Hajizada, Richmond College '05, is serving two years in prison for hooliganism and causing bodily harm along with fellow activist Emin Milli, who is serving 2.5 years. The two were arrested after a fight in a restaurant in Baku, Azerbaijan's capital, on July 8, 2009.
Judges overseeing the appeal refused to allow evidence for the defense, including photos of Hajizada's and Milli's injuries as well as video footage of the incident. The two complaining witnesses were also not present at any of the recent appeals.
There has been no mention of the defendants filing another appeal.
Officials at Amnesty International released a statement condemning the decision and accusing Azerbaijan officials of stifling dissent.
"Independent journalists and activists continue to face harassment and imprisonment in Azerbaijan despite the country's international obligations to uphold the right to freedom of expression," said Andrea Huber, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director at Amnesty International.
Contact staff writer Stephanie Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org
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