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Imprisoned journalist Abdolreza Tajik
More than 90 journalists have written an open letter to Tehran's chief prosecutor expressing concern over the imprisonment of their colleague Abdolreza Tajik and demanding his release, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

The letter, addressed to Tehran General-Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, was published on July 28.

Tajik's family also recently wrote a letter to Iran's judiciary. That letter described a conversation between Tajik and his sister, Parvin, during a prison visit when he reportedly told her he had been "dishonored" on the first night of his arrest last month in the presence of a deputy prosecutor.

Tajik's lawyer, Mohammad Sharif, told Radio Farda that in Iranian judicial parlance, "being dishonored" is usually interpreted as "being sexually or physically assaulted."

In their letter, the journalists write, "It was not just Abdolreza Tajik who was dishonored. It is justice, law, and human rights that are being dishonored [because of his arrest and treatment]."

Tajik, a journalist and human rights activist, was arrested on June 12 for the third time since the disputed June 2009 presidential election. The charges against him are not known.
Eduard Limonov
Russian opposition leader Eduard Limonov says activists plan to hold a demonstration in support of freedom of assembly in Moscow on July 31 despite warnings from the Interior Ministry that it will be broken up, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Deputy Interior Minister Mikhail Sukhodolsky said on July 29 that police will disband any unsanctioned protest by the Strategy 31 movement.

But Limonov, a founder of the opposition movement Other Russia, told RFE/RL that bans on gatherings in Moscow and throughout Russia are unconstitutional, and that the Strategy 31 rally will go ahead.

Moscow authorities have for nearly 18 months repeatedly refused to give permission for Strategy 31 -- an alliance of human-rights organizations and opposition activists -- to hold demonstrations in defense of Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly.

Strategy 31 holds its demonstrations on the 31st day of months with that number of days.

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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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