Rights activist sentenced to prison in Azerbaijan

AP News
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Posted: Aug 27, 2011 8:01 AM
Rights activist sentenced to prison in Azerbaijan

A lawyer says a human rights activist has been sentenced to three years in prison for interfering in parliamentary elections in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

Lawyer Khalid Bagirov said a district court in Baku, the capital, found his client Vivadi Iskenderov guilty of "interfering in an election campaign." He described the verdict as "unfair" and said he would appeal.

The court could not be immediately reached for comment.

Iskenderov was arrested in April during an opposition rally in Baku. He told the court that he is being persecuted for reporting vote rigging in Azerbaijan's 2010 parliamentary election.

Oil-rich Azerbaijan has been the subject of international criticism for its heavy-handed treatment of civil groups and independent media.