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Natalya Gulevichin Moscow's Tversk district court on November 22
MOSCOW -- A Moscow court has prolonged for a further six months the detention of ailing businesswoman Natalya Gulevich, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Gulevich's lawyer, Andrei Shtanko, told RFE/RL that the Taganka district court's decision is tantamount to a death sentence for his client.

Gulevich, who has been charged with financial fraud, was hospitalized one week ago with kidney failure.

Shtanko said Gulevich is scheduled to be transferred from a Moscow health clinic to a pretrial detention center on December 1.

Gulevich was arrested 10 months ago. The reports that her health was deteriorating sparked concern among human rights activists in light of the death of a teacher in a Moscow detention center last month.

Andrei Kudoyarov, 48, a secondary-school teacher, died of an apparent heart attack while in custody on October 8. He had been charged with extortion.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told journalists on October 11 that an investigation was launched on the assumption that Kudoyarov's death was the consequence of a failure to provide proper medical care.

Vladimir Zherebenkov was the lawyer for businesswoman Vera Trifonova, who died in a pretrial detention center in Moscow in April 2010. He told RFE/RL in October that both Trifonova and Kudoyarov died as a result of the very low professional level of medical personnel in detention centers.

Read more in Russian here
No official permission was granted for the memorial stone erected in Moscow at the site where Colonel Yury Budanov was killed earlier this year.
MOSCOW -- A memorial stone devoted to a former Russian Army colonel convicted of murdering a young Chechen woman has appeared at the site where he was shot dead in June, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Yury Budanov was jailed for 10 years in 2003 for the murder in 2000 of 18-year-old Elza Kungaeva.

His early release in January 2009 prompted protests by rights groups and officials in Chechnya.

Budanov was shot dead on June 10 on Moscow's Komsomol Avenue. Police arrested Magomed Suleimanov, from Russia's Chechen Republic, as a suspect in the murder in August.

Local citizens told RFE/RL that the leader of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), Vladimir Zhirinovsky, attended the ceremony last week for the unveiling of the memorial in Moscow.

The LDPR press service told RFE/RL that Zhirinovsky visited the site on November 24 but said the media should contact Valery Budanov -- Budanov's son, who joined the LDPR earlier this year -- for any comment.

Unveiled On Budanov's Birthday

Budanov told RFE/RL that the memorial stone was unveiled on November 24 -- his late father's birthday.

"I have initiated the placing of the memorial stone on that spot and people who respect my father sponsored the project," he said. "Our party did not cover any expenses. The idea to place the stone had been discussed with local citizens. They did not mind. The stone does not block any traffic or path."

He added that Zhirinovsky and 10-15 activists of the LDPR came to unveil the memorial stone.

A woman whose apartment windows face the newly unveiled memorial, told RFE/RL that "our yards and playgrounds cannot be turned into graveyards."

"A woman was killed nearby recently, will they place another stone here now?" the woman asked.

Officials in the Khamovniki district administration told RFE/RL that they are unaware of the stone.

It is generally very difficult to obtain permission to place a memorial or plaque in public places in Moscow.

Numerous agreements and bureaucratic proceedings must be arranged before such a memorial is approved by local authorities. The placing of a memorial without official permission is usually punished with large fines.

But Budanov's memorial neither received permission to be placed nor has anyone thus far been fined for erecting it.

Read more in Russian here

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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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