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Azerbaijani Scientist Released From Iranian Prison


Rashid Aliyev (file photo)

Rashid Aliyev (file photo)

BAKU -- An Azerbaijani scientist has arrived in Baku after being released from an Iranian jail after serving a two-year sentence for espionage, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Rashid Aliyev travelled to Iran in 2006 to work for the Sazan Electronics Industry Company in the city of Semnan, east of Tehran.

Two years later he was accused of sending information on laser technology and electronic schemes to Azerbaijan and sentenced to three years in prison.

Aliyev was taken directly to the Justice Ministry after arriving in Baku. He was not allowed to speak to journalists but later spoke by telephone to RFE/RL.

Aliyev said there were no grounds for his arrest. He said he protested the espionage charges and demanded to be shown evidence to substantiate them.

Aliyev also praised his former employer for defending him and making efforts to get him released on bail of $100,000.

He said he was kept in a prison in Tehran run by the secret police where politicians and agents were also jailed.

"Because I fought in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and served a prison term in Azerbaijan, I was able to resist psychological pressures [in the Iranian prison]," he said. "Therefore I came back safe and sound."

Aliyev was imprisoned in the late 1980s for his membership in the opposition Musavat Party.
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