Azerbaijani Journalist Gets Six-Year Sentence


(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) – A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced journalist Afqan Muxtarli to six years in prison after convicting him of smuggling and other crimes in a politically charged trial condemned by rights groups.

The Balakan District Court issued the verdict and sentence on January 12 after an impassioned final statement by Muxtarli, who said President Ilham Aliyev's government "cannot silence us."

Rights groups and Western states have condemned the case as part of long-standing government effort to quash dissent and punish those who question the authorities or seek to expose graft.

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