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Nothing to be sneezed at.
A Russian court has jailed an opposition activist for 15 days for spitting on a portrait of President Vladimir Putin.

Dmitry Karuyev, 20, was found guilty of "breaching public order" and "expressing clear disrespect for society" while taking part in a protest on the eve of Putin's inauguration on May 7.

Karuyev, a member of the Other Russia movement, was detained as he staged a one-man protest outside an office of the ruling United Russia party in the town of Cheboksary, some 660 kilometers south of Moscow.

Karuyev said he had "sneezed, not spat" on the portrait, which he brought along to the protest.

The story has become popular on the Internet with a joke about "giving a sneeze about Putin."

Based on reporting by AFP, RIA Novosti, and
Political activist Vasil Parfyankou (right) outside the courtroom in Minsk on May 29, when he was ordered back to jail.
MINSK -- A court in the Belarusian capital has ordered that an opposition activist spend six months in jail for parole violation.

Vasil Parfyankou was sentenced to four years in jail in February 2011 for participation in a mass gathering in Minsk on election night in December 2010. The gathering was questioning official results that made incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka the winner.

He was released on parole in August 2011.

Hundreds of opposition activists and their supporters, including former presidential candidates were arrested for taking part in the mass protest action on December 19, 2010.

The majority of them have been sentenced to different jail terms and later released on parole.

Parfyankou is the first of them who was sent back to jail for parole violation.

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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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