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Regime backers hold a poster with doctored pictures of former president Mohammad Khatami and opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi (right to left) on the gallows during a pro-government demonstration in Tehran on February 18.
The media freedom group Reporters Without Borders has joined calls for Iranian authorities to reveal the whereabouts of two opposition leaders, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Supporters of Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi say they and their wives were taken from their homes in recent days and transferred to a jail in the capital, Tehran.

Iranian authorities have denied this, saying the two couples are still in their homes.

Western officials have condemned the reported detention of Musavi and Karrubi and called for their release.

Reza Moini, head of the Iranian section of Reporters Without Borders, told Radio Farda that the secretive arrest of political prisoners is against international law.

"We have questioned the Iranian authorities regarding this matter," he said, "and have demanded the immediate disclosure of the arrest situation and location of these figures as per international law and the Iranian Constitution suggesting that the charge, along with the reason [for the charge], should be announced upon every arrest."

Moini said his group has kept track of the many threats it says have been made against Iranian intellectuals both inside and outside Iran in recent years.

"We have asked for international assistance in this matter, and have demanded the safety of Iranian journalists both inside and outside the country," he added.
Belarusian presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu lies in his campaign headquarters after he was beaten during a postelection rally in Minsk in December.
Former Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu has refused to go for KGB questioning after an argument with a KGB officer monitoring his house arrest, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Minsk-based human rights defender Raisa Mikhaylouskaya told RFE/RL that Nyaklyaeu had to call an ambulance as his blood pressure rose as a result of his March 2 argument with the KGB officer.

She said Nyaklyaeu was fine after treatment by paramedics.

Mikhaylouskaya said the incident was kicked off when one of the KGB officers who is permanently present in Nyaklyaeu's apartment refused to leave it when Nyaklyaeu and his wife Volha were about to go to the KGB office in Minsk for questioning.

When the officer refused, Nyaklyaeu protested and refused to report for interrogation.

In the past, when the couple went for questioning, the KGB officers left the apartment for the duration of their absence.

Nyaklyaeu and several other opposition presidential candidates, along with hundreds of their supporters, were arrested on December 19-20 while protesting the results of the presidential election, which they say was rigged.

Nyaklyaeu, 64, was severely beaten during the demonstration and was snatched from his hospital bed the following day and taken to jail.

Incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka was announced the runaway winner of the December vote, which international election monitors said was flawed.

Two other former presidential candidates -- Andrey Sannikau and Mikalay Statkevich -- remain in custody. Nyaklyaeu was released from jail in January and Ales Mikhalevich in February. All have been charged with organizing mass disturbances.

Read more in Belarusian 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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