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A memorial to Ahmed Omaid Khpalwak, one of the 21 journalists killed in Afghanistan since 2001, according to the CPJ
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling on Afghan authorities to fully investigate the murder of radio journalist Samid Khan Bahadarzai and bring those responsible to justice.

In a statement, the media advocacy group said Bahadarzai, who worked for the Melma Radio station, was found dead near his home in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika Province late on February 21 or early on February 22.

Several reports said he had been decapitated, while one Afghan daily, Pajhwok Afghan News, reported he had been stabbed and shot in the head.

Police are reportedly investigating whether his death was linked to a telephone call he received on February 21 by unidentified men who requested a meeting.

The Taliban has denied responsibility for the murder.

The CPJ said 21 journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.
Religious authorities in a number of post-Soviet states, including Russia, have harshly criticized the Unification Church, whose members are seen here in a mass wedding in Seoul in 2002, calling it a sect.
BISHKEK -- A court in Bishkek has ruled that the South Korean-based Unification Church can no longer operate on Kyrgyz territory.

Earlier this month, the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security, the Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's Office and the State Directorate for Religious Issues filed a complaint with the court.

In it, the state bodies claimed the church's activities posed a threat to Kyrgyz national security by forcibly propagating nontraditional religious views without proper registration.

The Unification Church became active in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s and has thousands of followers in the region.

Religious authorities in a number of post-Soviet states, including Russia, have harshly criticized the movement, calling it a sect.

Some curbs have been imposed on the Unification Church in those places as a result.

The Unification Church was founded in South Korea in 1954 by Sun Myung-moon, whom followers consider to be a messiah.

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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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