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Journalist Jailed in Azerbaijan

A journalist from an independent Azeri newspaper was jailed for three years on Tuesday, in a case that critics say highlights an erosion of human rights.

Aidyn Janiyev, from the opposition newspaper Khural, was arrested in August on hooliganism charges after he published a story critical of leaders loyal to the authorities.

The daily stopped publishing in October, after court officers raided its newsroom and seized equipment.

Editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynally was arrested this month on bribery and extortion charges and faces up to 12 years in jail.

Azerbaijan's strongman leader Ilham Aliyev has been lambasted by rights groups for curbing public dissent and freedom of speech.

Aliyev's government maintains that Azerbaijan's citizens enjoy full freedom of speech and a thriving opposition press.


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