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Oleg Kashin
MOSCOW -- Russian journalist Oleg Kashin has vowed to continue writing despite being assaulted and seriously injured earlier this month, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

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.

In his first article after the beating, printed in today's issue of the weekly "Kommersant-Vlast," Kashin wrote, "They will not make me shut up." Kashin did not speculate about who might have been behind the assault.

Read more in Russian here.
ASTANA -- Human rights activists and journalists from Kazakhstan and other countries are urging OSCE member states to "increase the efficiency of [their] dialogue" with Kazakh officials about human rights in Kazakhstan, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

In an open letter issued today, the activists expressed their concern about the situation faced by independent journalists, rights activists, opposition political figures, and religious minorities in Kazakhstan. They say Kazakh authorities have increased "repression against activists and journalists."

Some 80 human rights activists and journalists based in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Poland, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan signed the letter.

The letter also asks Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) members to pressure Kazakh authorities to guarantee media freedom and to release jailed independent journalist Ramazan Esergepov, rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis, former uranium company director Mukhtar Dzhakishev, and opposition activist Yermek Narymbaev.

Kazakhstan is the chairman of the OSCE for 2010.

An OSCE summit that will include the leaders of most member states will be held in Astana from December 1-2.

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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