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Opposition politician Boris Nemtsov co-authored the brochure
Police in St. Petersburg have impounded 100,000 copies of a critical brochure about Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The brochure, "Putin. Results.10 Years," was co-authored by Boris Nemtsov, cochairman of the opposition Solidarnost (Solidarity) coalition, and economist Vladimir Milov. It was scheduled to be distributed in St. Petersburg during the upcoming international economic forum.

Maksim Reznik, who heads the St. Petersburg branch of the opposition party Yabloko, told RFE/RL that the truck driver that was to deliver the brochures to his office called him on June 16 and said police took him and his truckload of brochures to a police station.

Reznik said the content of the brochure is neither extremist nor illegal. "It is important for us now to get the copies of the brochure to our office," Reznik added.

An officer at the police station told RFE/RL the truck was stopped because the driver violated traffic regulations. He said questions arose later regarding the brochures. Reznik says he still hopes the brochures will be delivered to his office.

The brochure summarizes the activities of Putin, who was also president from 2000-2008, over the past 10 years.
Narges Mohammadi
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has dedicated a prestigious human rights prize she received to a recently detained Iranian colleague, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Ebadi received the Felix Ermacora Prize for Human Rights in Vienna on June 15.

Ebadi told Radio Farda after receiving the award that she was dedicating her prize to a former colleague, Narges Mohammadi.

"This courageous woman deserves this award more than I do," Ebadi said.

Mohammadi, deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), was arrested at her home on June 10 by Intelligence Ministry officials in unclear circumstances.

"As human rights defenders in Iran -- unlike their peers in Europe -- work under difficult conditions, granting such awards is a declaration of support and sympathy for them," Ebadi said.

Ebadi is the current head of the DHRC and one of its co-founders.

She added that several of her DHRC colleagues have been jailed since Iran's controversial presidential election last year.

Two of the center's co-founders, Mohammed Ali Dadkhah and Abdolfatah Soltani, were arrested in June 2009 and imprisoned for several months. Journalist and DHRC member Abdolreza Tajik was detained on June 12 for the third time since last year's election.

Ebadi has also been the target of harassment by Iranian authorities in recent years.

"The regime's main problem is my [human] rights activities," Ebadi told Radio Farda. "Yet they have frozen my bank accounts under the illegal pretext of tax evasion on the Nobel Prize."

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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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