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Eynulla Fatullayev
Azerbaijani officials say a blood test shows that a jailed journalist who says heroin was planted on him in prison is not a drug addict and does not need to go to a drug treatment center, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Eynulla Fatullayev's blood was tested over the weekend after authorities said they found 0.23 grams of heroin in his jacket after searching his prison cell in Baku on December 29.

Fatullayev's lawyer, Isakhan Ashurov, said the results do not mean the drug-possession charges against his client will be dropped.

Fatullayev said the drugs were planted on him.

His father, Emin Fatullayev, claims his son was framed by prison officials and says it would be impossible for drugs to be brought into his son's cell without the connivance of prison personnel.

If found guilty of the drug charges, Fatullayev could face three years in jail on top of his 8 1/2-year term for "for instigation of terror and tax evasion," ordered after a 2007 conviction.

Many international groups have accused authorities of manufacturing those charges for political reasons.

The European Court of Human Rights is finalizing Fatullayev's case challenging the Azerbaijani government's charges against him.
Organizer Ravshan Jeenbekov during a visit to RFE/RL's Washington office in 2008
Kyrgyz nationals in the United States have established a group called the Kyrgyz Movement for Democracy Abroad in Washington, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Thirty members living in New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, and Illinois gathered at Washington's city library on January 31 to discuss the new movement's purpose and planned activities.

An organizer and former Kyrgyz government minister, Ravshan Jeenbekov, told RFE/RL that the movement's major goal is to promote democracy in Kyrgyzstan.

Ruslan Isakov, whose father, former Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov was sentenced to eight years in jail earlier this month, told RFE/RL that the inaugural meeting adopted an "address to the Kyrgyz nation" to inform countrymen about the movement's creation and its major goals.

Jeenbekov claims that more than 1 million Kyrgyz have left the country for political and economic reasons and says all are welcome to join the new movement.

The Kyrgyz Movement for Democracy plans to begin a new satellite television channel accessible in Kyrgyzstan.

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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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