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Jailed Anti-Corruption Blogger In Azerbaijan Allowed To Attend Mother's Funeral

Azerbaijani blogger Mehman Huseynov

BAKU -- A jailed Azerbaijani anticorruption blogger was allowed to attend his mother's funeral on August 7.

Mehman Huseynov, who was released for several hours to attend the funeral, said he will continue his anticorruption activities, despite being deeply affected by his mother's death.

Huseynov is currently serving a two-year prison sentence after being convicted of libel when he said he had been beaten by police in January 2017.

Huseynov has maintained his innocence and called the case against him politically motivated.

"If I survive in jail and am released, I will be twice as active. We will continue doing what we were doing," Huseynov said.

Hundreds of people, including leading opposition figures, attended the funeral of Firangiz Huseynova, who died on August 6.

The leader of Azerbaijan's opposition Popular Front Party, Ali Karimli, condemned authorities for not allowing Huseynov to see his dying mother when she was still alive.

"The authorities are retaliating against Mehman for his activities revealing the crimes of the corrupt regime. The only reaction to what authorities are doing is hatred. And the big number of people here today is an indication of such a growing hatred," Karimli said.

In December 2016 and January 2017, Huseynov posted photographs of luxury homes he alleged belonged to government officials and lawmakers.

Human rights groups accuse authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev's government of fabricating criminal cases to stifle dissent and media freedom in the oil-producing Caspian Sea country.

With reporting by Turan