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June 21, Baku police detained Mamedov, editor of the minority newspaper Talyshi Sado Voice of the Talyshon June 21,alleging they had found drugs, about five grams of heroin, in his pocket, the Azeri-language service of the U.
Following his arrest, Baku police declared that they had found an additional 30 grams of heroin in Mamedov's home, which they searched the same day, news reports said.
A day later, a district court in Baku ordered Mamedov imprisoned for three months before trial on drug possession charges, the reports said. Mamedov's family claimed police had planted the drugs, and his colleagues said they believed the editor had been targeted in retaliation for his reporting, the reports said.
Talyshi Sado covered issues affecting the Talysh ethnic minority group in Azerbaijan. Mamedov's articles have been published in Talyshi Sado and on regional and Russia-based news websites, according to Emin Huseynov, director of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety.
In Julyauthorities lodged another set of charges against Mamedov, including treason and incitement to ethnic and religious hatred, news reports said. Azerbaijan's interior ministry said in a statement that Mamedov had undermined the country's security in his articles for Talyshi Sado, in interviews with the Iranian broadcaster Sahar TV, and in unnamed books that he was alleged to have translated and distributed.
The statement also denounced domestic and international protests against Mamedov's imprisonment and said the journalist had used his office to spy for Iran.
In SeptemberMamedov was convicted on charges of drug possession, treason, and incitement to ethnic and religious hatred, and was sentenced to five years in jail, regional press reported.
His trial was marred by procedural violations, and authorities failed to back up their charges with credible evidence, news reports said.
Local human rights defenders said they believe the conviction was in retaliation for Mamedov's criticism of the authorities' failure to investigate the death in custody of Novruzali Mamedov. News reports said Novruzali Mamedov had been denied adequate medical treatment for several illnesses.
After his death, human rights and press freedom groups including CPJ repeatedly called in vain for an independent investigation into his death. According to the independent regional news websiteKavkazsky Uzel, the court ruled that Hilal Mamedov was to serve his sentence in a strict penal colony.
Mamedov was being held at Prison No. His lawyers told local journalists that they were planning to file another appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Araz Guliyev, Xeber Search Freelance jobs in Ukraine with company ratings & salaries.
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