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Other Russia activist Rim Shaigalimov
A member of the opposition movement Other Russia has died in prison after reportedly falling from a window, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Prison officials say Rim Shaigalimov, 52, committed suicide, but his relatives think he was killed.

His wife, Lyudmila Shaigalimova, told RFE/RL that his death "must have been an order from above." She added that the officials “can assert what they will -- that it was an accident or whatever, but that’s a lie. He was killed."

Shaigalimova said she and her family saw his body at the mortuary. "It was absolutely clear that the death was caused by suffocation," she said.

She said no prison officials had time to meet with her or other family members to discuss his death.

Shaigalimov was serving a five-year sentence in Krasnoyarsk Krai for fighting with a police officer. He had been in prison for seven months.

Shaigalimov was one of the leading Other Russia activists in the central region of Krasnoyarsk, and had led or participated in more than 100 protests, including some in which he demonstrated alone.
Police prevented NGOs from demonstrating in front of parliament.
The Azerbaijani parliament has adopted a law on nongovernmental organizations, but eliminated several restrictive amendments that were opposed by NGO officials and international human rights groups, RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service reports.

NGOs and international rights groups argued that the amendments would increase the government's control over civil society in Azerbaijan.

Some parliament deputies labeled the legislation as "progressive" while others expressed concern about the recent trend of changes viewed as undemocratic to the religion law and the mass media law.

The rejected proposals would have banned NGOs from receiving more than 50 percent of their funding from abroad; required all NGOs to register with the state; and prohibited the activities of foreign NGOs in Azerbaijan unless their activities were based on a "relevant international agreement."

About 100 people representing civil society groups began a protest on June 30 in front of the parliament building that was forcibly interrupted by plainclothes police, who destroyed the protesters’ signs.

Three NGO staffers were allowed to deliver a resolution expressing their opposition to the restrictive amendments to parliament.

Meanwhile, parliament also adopted amendments to the religion law which prohibit people educated in foreign countries from heading religious bodies, changes that were opposed by religious groups.

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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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