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Bashkir Activist Sentenced For 'Justification Of Terrorism'

UFA, Russia -- A civil rights activist in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan has been sentenced to three years in prison for the "public justification of terrorism."

The Kirov district court in Bashkortostan's capital, Ufa, also ruled on March 12 that Airat Dilmukhametov cannot practice journalism for two years.

Dilmukhametov was officially charged in July 2013 after he posted an article titled Akhyr Zaman (Armageddon) on the Internet.

Investigators said the article included calls for extremism and the "justification of terrorism."

Dilmukhametov pleaded not guilty.

Many in mostly Musllim Bashkortostan say the case against Dilmukhametov is politically motivated and linked to his activities as a rights activist.

Dilmukhametov was convicted in 2011 on similar charges and was sentenced to six years in an open-prison system that he could regularly leave to visit friends and relatives and continue to conduct his activities.