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Reports Say Iranian Azeri Journalist Jailed

(RFE/RL) October 17, 2006 -- Reports from Azerbaijan's capital Baku say a court in neighboring Iran has sentenced Azeri journalist Reza Abbasi to one year in prison for insulting state officials and conducting antigovernment propaganda.

The Azeri-Press (APA) news agency, which reported on the sentencing today, did not say when the verdict was reached.

There was no immediate confirmation from Iran.

Abbasi was detained in the northwestern Iranian city of Zenjan in June after he reportedly refused to comply with a verbal summons to be questioned by Iranian security officials.

Amnesty International reported on September 12 that Abbasi's trial was under way and said the defendant was at risk of torture and ill treatment.

Abbasi is a member of the Association for the Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners (ASMEK) and of the Alumni Association of Iran, an organization that has been active in promoting democracy and human rights.