Many eyes in Azerbaijan had been focused on US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in hopes that she would take President Ilham Aliyev’s government to task for allegedly gagging free speech. But after Clinton offered only a measured reproach, one Baku court took matters still further.
Three days after Clinton's July 4 visit, the court convicted a jailed newspaper editor on fresh charges. In a move condemned by various international rights groups, Eynulla Fatullayev was found guilty of drug possession -- a ruling that extended his eight-and-a-half-year prison term by another two and a half years. The decision came three months after the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg requested the journalist's release.
Fatullayev, the onetime editor of the now defunct Realny Azerbaijan newspaper, has been convicted of everything from terrorism and slander to tax evasion and, now, drug possession.
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