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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attends a medal ceremony at a wrestling event at the 2015 European Games, Baku, Azerbaijan, June 13, 2015 (AP photo by Dmitry Lovetsky).

Azerbaijan’s Ties With West Fray Amid Human Rights Crackdown

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015

Last week, Azerbaijan sentenced Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist and anti-corruption campaigner, to seven-and-a-half years in prison for illegal entrepreneurship and tax evasion. Her conviction comes three weeks after prominent human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus were sentenced to eight-and-a-half and seven years, respectively, for fraud, tax evasion and treason.

The United Nations, the European Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, among others, have all condemned the arrest, trial and sentencing of these and other human rights advocates and anti-corruption campaigners in Azerbaijan. The U.S. State Department released a statement saying it “is deeply troubled” by Ismayilova’s conviction and that the “case is another example in a broad pattern of increasing restrictions on human rights in Azerbaijan.” ...

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