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Lyudmila Alekseyeva: "Very worrisome"
MINSK -- Veteran Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alekseyeva says that she is very concerned about the human rights situation in Belarus, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Alekseyeva, chairwoman of the Moscow Helsinki Committee, said in Minsk that she was very concerned by the expulsion from Belarus last month of seven Russian and three Ukrainian International Monitoring Mission activists.

She said she did not tell anyone beforehand about her plans to visit Minsk for fear she, too, might be deported.

Alekseyeva, 83, added that "it is very worrisome that there are political prisoners in Belarus" and that political activists' lawyers are under pressure.

"A country that has political prisoners cannot be called a democratic country and should be permanently at the center of attention of all civilized countries," she said.

Read more in Belarusian here
DUSHANBE -- A 16-year-old Tajik boy died this week in Dushanbe's central detention center after reportedly being beaten, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

It was unclear when or why Ismoil Bachajonov was taken into custody. The precise date of his death was not given.

Representatives of the Prosecutor-General's Office told RFE/RL on June 8 that an investigation has been launched into "a beating with a lethal outcome," which is punishable under Article 110 of the Criminal Code by five to eight years in jail.

On June 6, the trial resumed of two former Dushanbe police officers charged in connection with the March death of detainee Safarali Sangov.

Sangov's relatives say he died from the effects of being beaten at a police station in Dushanbe's Sino district.

Read more in Tajik 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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