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Kazakhstan: Hunger-Striking Journalist Force-Fed

Almaty, 8 November 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The lawyer for Kazakh journalist Sergei Duvanov says that prison medics are force-feeding Duvanov, whose health is deteriorating because he has been on a hunger strike for almost two weeks. Duvanov is editor of the weekly bulletin of the International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law and a member of the democratic opposition in Kazakhstan.

Authorities jailed him in late October on a charge of raping an underage girl. The arrest occurred as he was about to leave for a trip to the United States to visit a journalists' rights group.

Yesterday, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said a pattern of recent incidents involving Duvanov, including the rape charge, raise concerns that he is being persecuted for his views.