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ALMATY -- A Kazakh opposition publisher is reported missing following an attack, and his colleagues say they fear he might have been abducted, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Daniyar Moldashev is the director of a publishing house in Almaty that prints the opposition newspapers "Respublika" (The Republic) and "Golos respubliki" (The Voice of the Republic).

"Golos respubliki" journalists told RFE/RL today that on March 25 Moldashev was severely beaten and robbed by unknown individuals on his way home from the Almaty airport. He was returning from Moscow where he had met with "Respublika" editors.

The journalists said they believe Moldashev may have later been abducted.

Almaty police say it is too early to talk about an abduction as there is no evidence to prove Moldashev was kidnapped or that he is even missing.

"Respublika" had to move its headquarters to Moscow from Almaty several years ago after Kazakh authorities imposed restrictions on the newspaper.

"Golos respubliki" had to suspend operations due to pressure imposed by local authorities several times and some of its reporters have been attacked and beaten in the past.

"Golos respubliki" staff members said today they will hold a press conference in Almaty soon regarding Moldashev's disappearance.

Read more in Russian here
Blogger Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki
The jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki is in grave condition in Tehran's Evin prison, his father has told RFE/RL's Radio Farda.

Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki told Radio Farda on March 29 that his son suffers from kidney problems and needs to undergo surgery immediately.

Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki, 24, was arrested in December 2009 in the crackdown following mass protests against that summer's disputed presidential election.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges that include spreading propaganda against the regime and cooperating with an Iran-based group that works to counter Internet filtering.

Ronaghi-Maleki has denied all the charges brought against him, his father said.

"Neither Hossein's lawyer, nor his family was at court when the sentence was issued," he said.

Ronaghi-Maleki spent more than a year in solitary confinement in a ward run by Revolutionary Guards in Evin prison before being transferred to Section 350, where he is currently serving his sentence.

His father said that one of Hossein's kidneys became infected while he was in solitary confinement.

Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki also said his son was under pressure to make televised confessions but refused to do so.

He added this might be the reason why the judicial authorities are not allowing Hossein to leave prison for medical treatment.

Listen in Persian 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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