The Supreme Court of Azerbaijan yesterday began a closed-door trial of Islamic party chairman Alikram Aliev and three vice-chairmen on charges of high treason. The State Security Ministry’s investigation concluded that the defendants and some accomplices had spied for Iranian intelligence in return for money, and that scholarships for religious studies in Iran were being used as a cover for training in intelligence-gathering and political subversion. The four leaders have been in pre-trial detention for almost a year; four others have in the meantime been released. (Turan, Interfax, February 25) Founded in 1992, the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan had its legal registration revoked in 1995. The party opposes the country’s official Muslim hierarchy.
Sodirovs’ Force Clashes with Tajik Opposition.