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Azerbaijan Jails Opposition Blogger

Abdul Abilov
A court in Baku has sentenced Azerbaijani opposition blogger Abdul Abilov to 5 1/2 years in prison.

Abilov's lawyer, Xalid Bagirov, told RFE/RL that his client was found guilty on May 27 of drug possession.

Bagirov said that he will appeal the sentence, which he called "unjust."

Abilov, 31, is known for his criticism of the Azerbaijani authorities. He was arrested in November 2013.

His sentencing comes one day after the chairman of an election watchdog in Azerbaijan, Anar Mammadli, and two associates were sentenced to several years in jail on charges of tax evasion, illegal business activities, and using their office to falsify election results.

Azerbaijani authorities have been criticized for cracking down even more severely on dissent after President Ilham Aliyev's reelection to a third consecutive term last year.