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Stavros Lambrinidis (file photo)
BRUSSELS -- The new EU special representative for human rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, has vowed to raise rights issues in his meetings with Russia and Kazakhstan.

Lambrinidis told members of the European Parliament that in the three months since he took over he has already been in touch with counterparts in both Moscow and Astana and promised to continue to engage in dialogue.

He noted that the EU had voiced concerns recently over new Russian treason legislation and measures aimed at making life harder for nongovernmental organizations.

Lambrinidis added that he would also bring up the case of Kazakh opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov.

Kozlov was recently sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison on charges of calling for the overthrow of the government during the Kazakh oil workers' protests in December 2011.
"Vzglyad" deputy editor Olesya Shchelkova says the publication appeared as a brochure with a changed title in order to avoid a lawsuit.
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Police in Kazakhstan's largest city have confiscated all copies of a suspended opposition weekly.

"Vzglyad" (Viewpoint) was published on November 28 under a different name and format in Almaty, after a court suspended it on November 26 following a request by prosecutors to designate two opposition groups and several opposition media outlets as extremist.

"Vzglyad" deputy editor Olesya Shchelkova told RFE/RL the publication appeared on November 28 as a brochure with the changed title "NeVzglyad" (Not-A-Viewpoint) in order to avoid a lawsuit.

However, Shchelkova said police confiscated all 99 copies of the brochure right after they were delivered to a newsstand in Almaty.

Kazakh laws allow the publication of fewer than 100 copies of print media without registration at the Information Ministry.

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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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