Azerbaijan opposition politician sentenced to 3 years

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced an opposition politician to three years in prison in a case criticized by human rights groups.

The court in Gazakh in western Azerbaijan on Tuesday convicted Gozel Bayramli, the deputy head of the Popular Front party, on smuggling charges that she rejected.

Bayramli was detained in May at the border with neighboring Georgia following her visit there. Authorities said they found an undeclared $12,000 in her bag, while she insisted the money was planted on her and called the charges political.

Her lawyer, Elcin Sadygov, said she would appeal the verdict.

International rights groups have criticized Bayramli's arrest as part of a crackdown on dissent in the oil-rich ex-Soviet nation.

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