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Murder suspect Yevgenia Khasis, wearing a black hood over her head, sits in the defendant's cage of a Moscow court.
A Russian Investigative Committee has charged two suspects in the January murders of a human rights lawyer and a journalist, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Vladimir Markin, a committee spokesman, said Nikita Tikhonov, 29, and Yevgenia Khasis, 24, were charged on November 5 with the double murder of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburina.

Stanislav Markelov (right) and Anastasia Baburova
Markelov -- who was a lawyer for slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya -- and Baburova, a journalist for the opposition daily "Novaya Gazeta," were shot dead by unknown assailants on January 19 in central Moscow.

Markelov also worked as a lawyer for the family of a Chechen girl who was murdered by Russian Army officer Yury Budanov in 2000.

Budanov was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2003 but was released in 2009.

Russian media reports say Tikhonov and Khasis were members of the banned radical movement Russian National Union, but that was not
independently confirmed.

In an official statement, the International Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) welcomed reports of the arrests.

CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova called on the investigative committee to "make the results of its probe public as soon as possible."
Kubanychbek Joldoshev suffered head injuries and broken bones in the attack.
Kyrgyz journalist Kubanychbek Joldoshev says an attack that left him hospitalized with a concussion was politically motivated, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Joldoshev, 29, was severely beaten by three unknown assailants on November 2. He suffered head injuries and broken bones in the attack.

He told RFE/RL that the taxi he was in was stopped by police and the taxi driver taken away by them to check "to see if he was intoxicated."

Joldoshev said as soon as the police left with the taxi driver, three men approached the taxi and started beating him.

Local police officials deny that the attack was premeditated. They claim Joldoshev was slightly drunk himself, but said the police who took the taxi driver for a checkup are being investigated.

Turgunbay Jumabaev, the chief of the Investigations Committee in Osh, told RFE/RL that the attack is being considered an act of hooliganism.

Joldoshev is a correspondent for the local newspaper "Osh Shamy" (The Torch of Osh). He used to work as a correspondent for RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service.

The chief editor of "Osh Shamy," Turgunbay Aldakulov, told RFE/RL that he and his colleagues believe the attack is most likely connected with Joldoshev's professional activities and should not be investigated as an act of hooliganism.

The attack on him was the seventh against a journalist in Kyrgyzstan this year.

Abduvahab Moniev, an independent Kyrgyz journalist who was severely beaten by unknown assailants earlier this summer, told RFE/RL that none of his attackers was found.

Almaz Ismanov, who represents the regional Internet resource center "Oazis," told RFE/RL that after a local journalist was shot dead in Osh two years ago, local journalists have been reluctant to cover controversial issues.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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