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Belarusian activist Ivan Amelchanka (right) has been jailed for holding up a placard.
A Belarusian opposition activist has been sentenced to 15 days in jail for using a sign to mock a plainclothes security officer.

In the April incident, Ivan Amelchanka was photographed standing next to a man who was using a hand-held camera to film an opposition-organized march in Minsk.

The activist's placard contained the word “Musorok” -- a Russian slang word that can be translated as "fuzz" or “pig."

It also had an arrow pointing in the direction of the officer.

Amelchanka was arrested on May 17.

In issuing the 15-day sentence, the judge ruled that Amelchanka’s behavior fit the Belarus authorities' definition of hooliganism.
KAZAN -- Officials in the Russian republic of Tatarstan say another man has died in police custody.

Officials said the 49-year-old was serving an eight-day sentence for alleged drug violations when he died on May 14 in a detention center.

According to police, the death was caused by heart failure.

Officials say an investigation has been launched.

Tatarstan police have been under increased scrutiny since March after a 52-year-old suspect died after police in Kazan allegedly beat and raped him with a bottle.

Several police officers have been arrested and charged in that case, and Tatarstan’s Interior Minister Asgat Safarov resigned.

The case has led to a series of revelations about more cases of alleged beating and torture of suspects by police in Tatarstan and other Russian regions.

With reporting by Interfax

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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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