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The 37-year-old lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in November 2009, after a year of pretrial detention.
MOSCOW -- A European Parliament committee has unanimously approved a motion for sanctions to be imposed upon Russian officials deemed to be responsible for the prison death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The parliament's International Affairs Committee on November 23 proposed sanctions that entail a ban on travel to the European Union and the seizure of property abroad for anyone considered by Magnitsky's former colleagues to be connected with his death.

Magnitsky, an attorney for the investment firm Hermitage Capital, died one year ago in pretrial detention. According to officials he died as a result of heart failure.

Human rights activists and his former colleagues say he died because he was refused access to medical care.

European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek told RFE/RL that he and his colleagues believe Magnitsky was fighting corruption in Russia and paid a price for that. He said Magnitsky's death should be thoroughly investigated and anyone responsible for his death should face trial.

The motion for sanctions on Russian officials is scheduled to be discussed at the European Parliament's general session next month.

Read more in Russian here.
"Daily Kommersant" political correspondent Oleg Kashin (file photo)
MOSCOW -- Russian journalist Oleg Kashin, who was severely beaten earlier this month, has undergone further surgery, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Oleg Varnavin, a physician at Moscow's Hospital No. 36, told journalists the November 23 operation on Kashin's right leg was successful.

Kashin, 30, a correspondent for the popular daily newspaper "Kommersant," was beaten by two unknown assailants on November 6. The attack left him with broken legs, skull damage, and fractured hands.

He has been operated on several times, and was kept in an induced coma until November 15.

Doctors say Kashin could be released from the hospital in two or three weeks.

Last week Kashin was able to talk to investigators for the first time since the beating. He has said he does not know who attacked him but thinks the beating was connected to his coverage of environmental activists' efforts to prevent the felling of trees at the Khimki forest, where officials have planned to build a new Moscow-St. Petersburg highway.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last week he hopes Kashin's attackers will be found soon. Police have launched an investigation into the attack and classified it as attempted murder.

Read more in Russian here.

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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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