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Azerbaijani Activist Receives 10-Year Prison Sentence
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Azerbaijan has sentenced a pro-democracy activist to 10 years in prison amid an ongoing crackdown on dissenting voices under President Ilham Aliyev's government.

A Baku court on October 25 found Qiyas Ibrahimov, a 21-year-old activist who belongs to the NIDA pro-democracy youth group, guilty of drug trafficking.

Amnesty International said the charges were a "shocking assault on freedom of expression."

Denis Krivosheyev, the group's deputy director for Europe and Central Asia, said in a October 26 statement that the verdict handed to Ibrahimov was "an absolute travesty of justice."

Ibrahimov and another activist, Bayram Mammadov, were arrested in May for painting antigovernment graffiti on a monument in the capital, Baku.

The monument was a tribute to late Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev, the father of the current president.

Human Rights Watch has called on authorities to "immediately free" the activists and investigate allegations that they were mistreated while in police custody.

Dozens of journalists and activists who have been jailed in recent years have said they were targeted for their criticism of authorities.

Based on reporting by AFP and RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service

Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor has asked a court to authorize the blocking of the U.S. professional-networking website LinkedIn.

Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky told the Interfax news agency on October 26 that there have been "several cases of LinkedIn users' personal data being leaked since 2010."

Ampelonsky added that Roskomnadzor filed a case calling for LinkedIn to be blocked in August.He also said that the Moscow Municipal Court is scheduled to hear LinkedIn's appeal against the move on November 10.

In September 2015, a Russian law requiring all the personal data of Russian users of social networks to be kept on servers in Russia came into force.

LinkedIn indicated on October 19 that the arrest of an alleged Russian hacker, Yevgeny Nikulin, in the Czech Republic on October 5 was related to a massive hack of the site in 2012.

With reporting by Interfax

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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