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Man Sent To Mental Hospital After Refusing To Pay Bribe

BAKU -- A couple in Azerbaijan claim the husband was coerced into checking into a psychiatric hospital in the western exclave of Naxcivan for refusing to pay a bribe, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Mahammad Gurbanov, 56, works as a vendor and says he was asked on September 12 to pay extra customs on goods he had imported from Turkey.

When he refused, his wife told RFE/RL, he was taken to an Internal Affairs Ministry office for questioning and his goods were destroyed.

Gurbanov told RFE/RL through an open hospital window that he was forced to write a "request to be treated at the mental hospital."

The case is the third in Azerbaijan in the past two years in which an individual claimed to have been taken to a psychiatric clinic by police after refusing to pay a bribe.