Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Milli was imprisoned in 2009 for two and a half years for his critical views about the government. He was conditionally released in November 2010, after serving 16 months of his sentence, in part due to strong international pressure on the government of Azerbaijan. From 2002-2004, Milli was director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and also advised the Council of Europe on more than 40 cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, many of whom were released following pressure from the Council. Prior to that, he was a coordinator for the International Republican Institute in Azerbaijan. He studied at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he wrote his dissertation on new media and Arab revolutions.
Detention and trial
On 8 July 2009, Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade were assaulted and severely beaten by two men in a restaurant in downtown Baku. Milli and Hajizada went to file a complaint about the assault, but instead police detained them and opened a criminal case against both, who are charged with hooliganism.
On 10 July 2009, Judge Rauf Ahmedov of the Sabail district court in Baku placed both of them in pretrial detention for two months. German Federal Commissioner for Human Rights Günter Nooke was in Baku during their trial and was the only one allowed to see Emin Milli for a few minutes after being kept waiting. Subsequently, a higher court rejected their appeal.
Reporters Without Borders, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and European Union, as well as a number of foreign countries have strongly condemned Milli and Hajizade's arrest, while the case prompted protests from 18 officials of the University of Richmond, where Adnan studied and from BP, which employs him. Amnesty International designated him a prisoner of conscience.
US President Barack Obama called on his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, to free imprisoned bloggers Emin Milli and Adnan Hadjizade when the two leaders had a bilateral meeting during the UN General Assembly session in New York on 24 September 2010. The White House said Obama urged Aliyev to free the two bloggers as part of an increased effort to protect human rights and implement democratic reforms. 
Investigation in Milli and Hajizade's case was concluded on 22 August and an additional charge was brought against them ("deliberately inflicting minor bodily harm"). On 4 September, Judge Araz Huseynov presided over the preparatory session where a variety of defense motions, including one to have the charges dropped, another to permit media coverage of the proceedings and a motion to set the defendants free on bail for the duration of their trial were denied. After two months of court hearings both Adnan Hajizada and Emin Milli were found guilty. Adnan was sentenced two, Emin two-and-a-half years of prison.
Emin Milli has been only conditionally released in November 2010 and was not allowed to leave Azerbaijan until June 2011. The New York Times covered some details of his life after his release. He continued to be one of the most critical voices of dissent and campaigned internationally for release of all political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Milli has addressed the President Aliyev during Internet Governance Forum in November 2012 with the open letter telling the truth about real situation in Azerbaijan. The open letter was published in The Independent, Le Monde Blog, Tagesspiegel, Gazeta Wyborcza and Radio Azadliq.
Milli started a news portal, Meydan TV, in 2013.
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- Barry, Ellen (24 June 2011). "A Dissident Is Free From Jail, but His Punishment Is Not Over". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Milli, Emin. "Struggle for liberation of human spirit". Emin Milli. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
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- Jean-Marc, Manach. "" L'Internet est libre "… mais pas notre pays. Lettre ouverte au président de l'Azerbaïdjan". Le Monde Blog. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Milli, Emin (7 November 2012). "Gesellschaft der Angst". Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Milli, Emin. "List_otwarty_opozycyjnego_blogera_do_prezydenta_Azerbejdzanu.html". Gazeta Wyborcza. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Milli, Emin. "Emin Milli prezidentə "məsuliyyətini xatırlatdı" (Müraciətin mətni)". Azadliq Radiosu. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2012.