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Azerbaijan court convicts newspaper editor of state treason

A court in Azerbaijan convicted a newspaper editor of state treason Tuesday and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, the Associated Press (AP) has eported. Novruzali Mammadov, the editor of Talysh Sado, or Voice of the Talysh, was arrested in February 2007 together with the paper's administrator, Elman Guliyev, who also was found guilty Tuesday and sentenced to six years imprisonment.

The editor's lawyer, Ramiz Mammadov, said his client was innocent of treason and will appeal.


Prosecutors accused the two of Talysh nationalism and undermining Azerbaijan's statehood. The Talysh live in the south of the former Soviet republic and have close cultural ties to neighboring Iran. Guliyev acknowledged in court that the paper had received $1,000 per month from Talysh organizations in Iran.

The government of oil-rich Azerbaijan has faced persistent criticism over heavy-handed treatment of independent media and opposition parties. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution Tuesday expressing concern at what it called the deteriorating human rights situation in Azerbaijan before a presidential election in October.

The resolution, posted on the assembly's Web site, condemned restrictions on freedom of expression — including harassment and intimidation of opposition journalists — and limits on freedom of assembly and association.

Date posted: June 25, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 284