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Screenshot of "Eco Defense," the Khimki Forest environmental activists' website
The website of Russia's Khimki Forest Defenders movement has been attacked by hackers and is accessible only intermittently, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Yaroslav Nikitenko, an active member of the movement, told RFE/RL that the site,, was attacked late on the afternoon of August 31. He said the cyberattack might be connected with material about Moscow Oblast Governor Boris Gromov. The attack happened immediately after that material was posted.

The environmental activists plan to ask the Moscow city prosecutor to launch an investigation.

The Khimki Forest Defenders have been campaigning for some time to halt the destruction of thick forest near the Moscow Oblast town of Khimki in order to build a new highway between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

President Dmitry Medvedev last week ordered the construction suspended. Gromov has written to Medvedev and to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin asking them to reconsider that decision.
Arjang Davudi (file photo)
Iranian political activist Arjang Davudi, who launched a hunger strike in jail 50 days ago, is in a grave condition, his wife has told RFE/RL's Radio Farda.

Davudi was arrested in 2003 on charges of founding a political group called The Freedom Movement of Iranians. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence in Tehran's Gohardasht prison.

He began the hunger strike to protest the alleged violation of his rights.

"Arzhang‎'s friends informed me that he was taken to prison hospital last night," Davudi's wife, Nazanin Davudi, told Radio Farda this week. She said she was told Davudi could neither talk nor open his eyes.

She said the authorities had asked Davudi to sign a paper to the effect that he would be responsible for his life: "They asked my husband to sign a paper which said if anything happened to him, he would be responsible for it, but he refused to do so."

She added that the reason her husband went on hunger strike was that he was denied the right to make phone calls and placed in solitary confinement without any good reason by Gohardasht prison warden Ali Haj-Kazem: "He wrote a letter of complaint against Haj-Kazem to which no one paid any attention."

Nazanin Davudi said although she tried to visit her husband to persuade him to end his hunger strike, the prison warden prevented her from seeing him.

"Arzhang‎ is being punished for his hunger strike," she said. "If anything happens to him, the prison warden is responsible."

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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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