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Abdurahim Shukurov
A Tajik cameraman was released on December 26 after being detained for a day following protests by local media organizations.

Abdurahim Shukurov, who works for independent news website, Ozodagon, was beaten by policemen and arrested on December 25 while filming outside a courtroom, where a leading opposition figure was being sentenced to a lengthy prison term.

RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports that Shukurov had initially been placed under arrest for seven days.

Police also briefly detained several relatives and supporters of the jailed opposition figure and businessman Zayd Saidov.

They were later released after paying fines.

Saidov was sentenced to 26 years in prison on charges, including financial fraud, polygamy, and sexual relations with a minor.

He denies the charges and says they are politically motivated.

-- RFE/RL's Tajik Service
The UN Committee against Torture (CAT) has expressed concerns over a Russian court's ruling against a nongovernmental organization in St.Petersburg that had provided information to the CAT.

The CAT said on December 23 it was disturbed that Russian prosecutors, as part of their civil lawsuit against the Anti-Discrimination Center Memorial, had referred to Memorial's report on police abuse of Roma and labor migrants it submitted for CAT's review of the Russian Federation in November 2012.

CAT's rapporteur on reprisals, George Tugushi, stated that "Russia is a State Party to the Convention against Torture and as such should ensure that no group faces prosecution for communicating with or providing information to the Committee."

The court ordered Memorial to get registered as a "foreign agent" in accordance with a controversial law adopted last year.

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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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