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Roman Dobrokhotov (center) is detained by the police outside the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
An activist opposed to Vladimir Putin's continued rule says authorities have offered no official explanation for why he was detained after he attempted to pray for Russia's liberation from president-elect at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.

Police reportedly forced Roman Dobrokhotov into a car April 29 after he tried to enter the church to pray for Russia's deliverance from Putin, who has led Russia as president and prime minister for the last 12 years and is due to begin another presidential term in May.

Dobrokhotov said he was beaten by several men after he was released from custody.

The case comes amid the ongoing prosecution by Russian authorities of three members of the female band Pussy Riot, who were arrested after staging a performance against Putin inside the cathedral in February.

WATCH: Orthodox Christian believers and police scuffled with a group of opposition activists who were trying to enter Russia's largest Orthodox cathedral on April 29. The activists had planned to stage a public prayer for Russia to be saved from Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin. One opposition activist was reportedly detained by the police. RFE/RL's Russian Service
Anti-Putin Activists, Christians Clash At Moscow Cathedral
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Lukpan Akhemdyarov is taken to a hospital after being stabbed and shot on April 19.
ORAL, Kazakhstan – A Kazakh journalist who sustained serious injuries in a recent assault went on trial in absentia on April 27 in a libel case.

Lukpan Akhmedyarov, a correspondent for the "Uralskaya nedelya" weekly in the western city of Oral, was stabbed and shot with a pneumatic pistol on April 19.

He received a subpoena to attend the trial from hospital but was unable to do so due to his health condition.

A top official in the West Kazakhstan Oblast, Tilekqabyl Imashev, has filed a lawsuit against Akhmedyarov. Imashev is demanding financial compensation from the journalist, alleging he “hurt his dignity and honor” in one of his articles.

Akhmedyarov says both the lawsuit and the attack against him are politically motivated.

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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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