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Azerbaijan: Court Jails Opposition Official

Baku, 14 June 2002 (RFE/RL) -- An Azerbaijani court today sentenced an opposition party official to five days in jail for inciting antigovernment activity. Party spokesman Hasrat Rustam said police last night detained Sardar Jalaloglu, the general secretary of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, as he was returning home from the village of Nardaran.

The village was the site of a recent clash between protestors and police that left one person dead. Residents were protesting the arrest of four villagers in an earlier rally, saying authorities were trying to stifle dissent. But officials say Nardaran is a center of Islamic extremist activity, and have arrested at least 30 people since the clash.

Earlier this week, police detained the leader and another member of the Islamic Party in connection with the clash.