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Azerbaijani Journalist Jailed, Supporters Cry Foul

  • RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

Nicat Amiraslanov's colleagues and friends say his arrest is retaliation by the local authorities for his work.

QAZAX, Azerbaijan -- A court in Azerbaijan has ordered journalist Nicat Amiraslanov to spend 30 days in jail after finding him guilty of resisting police.

Amiraslanov, an independent journalist from the northwestern Qazax district, was detained on May 22. The Qazax district court issued its ruling on May 23.

Amiraslanov's colleagues and friends say his arrest is retaliation by the local authorities for his reporting and Internet posts.

International rights defenders and Western governments have criticized the oil-producing former Soviet republic's government for persistent clampdowns targeting independent journalists and rights defenders.

President Ilham Aliyev, who has ruled the Caucasus nation of almost 10 million people with an iron fist since shortly before his father's death in 2003, has shrugged off the criticism.

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