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A Ukrainian blogger says he was summoned by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) for questioning for allegedly threatening the life of the president and insulting him.

Oleh Shynkarenko told RFE/RL that SBU officers delivered a summons this morning to his apartment and escorted him to an office in central Kyiv where he was questioned. The conversation concerned his personal blog on Live Journal.

Shynkarenko said that upon arrival he was given transcripts of two of his postings that the SBU had removed from Live Journal.

"The SBU interpreted them as a threat to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's life. Of course I had no intention to threaten anyone's life, this was my emotional reaction to everything that is happening today in Ukraine," Shynkarenko said.

In one posting Shynkaruk jokingly asked if there were any nationalists who would be ready to kill Yanukovych.

The other posting was a reprint of an article about Yanukovych from a Russian Internet encyclopedia site.

Shynkarenko said that in this particular posting Yanukovych is subjected to all sorts of insults and injury in the forum accompanying the article.

He said the SBU officers were very polite. He said they spoke in Russian while he answered their questions in Ukrainian.

Shynkarenko said he told the SBU officers that the posts were not a call to any action, that they were on a social networking site, not on any official media site, and they did not represent anything more than a personal view. Had he not done so, the SBU officers told him this matter would drag out for a long time.

After promising not to insult Yanukovych in the future, Shynkarenko says, he was free to go.

-- Ukrainian Service
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.

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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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