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Interfax correspondent Jyldyz Bekbaeva is recovering in an Osh hospital.
OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz officials in the southern city of Osh are investigating the beating of a journalist working for the Russian news agency Interfax, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Jyldyz Bekbaeva was attacked by four assailants on the evening of May 1. She was hospitalized with numerous bruises, a concussion, and other wounds. No valuables were taken.

Bekbaeva told RFE/RL that two of the attackers were women. She declined to comment on the possible motive for the attack.

Bekbaeva had recently written about security in the country and problems faced by people living along the Uzbek border.

She also had begun an investigation on a book that was banned by Kyrgyz officials, "The Hour Of The Jackal," about the deadly unrest in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions last year that led to some 400 deaths.

Officials involved in the investigation say it is unclear if the attack is connected with Bekbaeva's professional activities.

Read more in Kyrgyz here
Farzad Kamangar was executed in May 2010.
A number of jailed Iranian teachers have issued a statement criticizing the authorities for incarcerating teachers because of their trade union activities, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

The statement was timed to mark Teachers' Day on May 2 and was posted on the website of Advar Tahkim Vahdat, the alumni organization of Iran's largest reformist student group. It says Iranian teachers demand the recognition of their right to form a trade union, to hold assemblies, and to criticize the authorities.

The signatories of the statement also say they do not want to return to schools where they would not be permitted to teach because of their heterodox views. Instead, they want to be assigned to classes where the first lesson to be taught is to think freely.

"How can we teach our students courage when they see that the reward for criticism is imprisonment?" the signatories ask.

The signatories include Advar Tahkim Vahdat spokesman Abdollah Momeni and Mohammad Davari, a member of the central council of the Teachers' Organization of Iran.

Both were arrested during the crackdown that followed the June 2009 presidential election and are currently serving five-year terms in Tehran's Evin prison on security charges.

Iran-based teacher Majid Pajoohfam told Radio Farda on May 2 that the activities of teachers' unions have never been political, although the regime believes otherwise. He said teachers merely want to defend their rights, but the regime considers that a security issue.

In May 2010, Kurdish teacher Farzad Kamangar was executed in Tehran for alleged involvement with opposition groups.

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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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