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Ethnic Azeri Bloggers Imprisoned In Iran


BAKU-- Five ethnic Azeri students running a popular blog have been sentenced to one-year prison terms in Iran, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The students were charged at a Tabriz court with establishing an illegal organization. The students' lawyer said the blog, azoh.blogsky.net, was singled out for its content and popularity.

The bloggers advocated language rights for Azeris living in Iran and criticized the pressure put on cultural and student activists by the government.

The blog continues to operate, but is often blocked by Iranian officials.

On February 2, five ethnic Azeri activists -- including a journalist and two students -- were sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the northwestern city of Ardebil for supporting Azeri-language schools in Iran.
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