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PODGORICA -- Police in Montenegro said they have arrested a man suspected of attacking a journalist last week in violence that has drawn international condemnation.

The journalist, OIivera Lakic, said the attack -- and the threats that preceded it -- have forced her to quit journalism.

Lakic, 42, and her family have been under police protection since the March 7 incident, when an attacker repeatedly struck her on the head.

Police said they arrested a 29-year old suspect in Podgorica late on March 12.

She received threats after writing a series of articles in the daily "Vijesti" about the alleged production of counterfeit cigarettes in Montenegro.

About 1,000 Montenegrins have signed a petition asking the European Union -- which Montenegro hopes to join -- to pressure the government to tackle organized crime and protect journalists.

With AFP reports
Activists stage a protest against the law prohibiting the "propaganda of homosexuality" in St. Petersburg in November.
A leading official in the Russian Orthodox Church has called on Russian lawmakers to adopt a national law prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality among minors.

Father Dmitry Pershin, head of the church's youth council, has called for the State Duma to approve "without delay" a law that would make it a crime to promote homosexuality to people younger than 16.

His statement came after the governor of Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, signed into law a new measure calling for fines of up to $33,000 for propagating "homosexuality among minors."

Gay rights activists have protested, saying the law could be used to ban public demonstrations by Russia's embattled gay and transgender community.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but antigay sentiments among many Russians remain strong.

With AP and Interfax reports

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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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