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Amnesty Condemns Jailing Of Azeri Activist

Azerbaijani youth activist Cabbar Savalan
Amnesty International has condemned the jailing in Azerbaijan of an opposition youth activist on what it called "fabricated" drug-possession charges.

In a statement, the international rights group called on Azerbaijani authorities to "immediately" release Cabbar Savalan, who was sentenced this week to two and a half years on charges of possessing opium, which he denied.

Amnesty says the 20-year-old activist of the Popular Front Party youth organization was apparently targeted for using Facebook to call for antigovernment demonstrations inspired by protests in the Middle East and North Africa.

Amnesty says it has documented similar cases in which drugs were planted on prominent critics of the government.

compiled from agency reports