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Opposition Activist Jailed In Azerbaijan

BABEK, Azerbaijan -- A court in Azerbaijan's Naxcivan exclave has sentenced an opposition activist to eight years in jail.

The Babek district court on February 3 found Zeynalabdin Bagirzade, a member of Azerbaijan's Popular Front party (AXCP), guilty of violent resistance to authorities. He had been arrested in November.

Taking into account that Bagirzade was serving a 2012 conditional sentence for fraud, the court sentenced Bagirzade to eight years in jail.

Bagirzade's brother, Yasar Bagirsoy, who is the chairman of the AXCP's branch in the region, said that the case was politically motivated.

The oil-rich former Soviet republic has faced harsh criticism for jailing independent reporters, human rights activists, and civil-society advocates.

With reporting by Turan

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