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Yelena Isinbayeva reacts after winning the women's pole-vault final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow on August 13.
Russian pole-vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva says she supports antigay legislation in her country.

Isinbayeva said in Moscow on August 15 that "if we allow [homosexuals] to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we [should be] very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves normal, standard people."

The Russian athlete, who won her third world title on August 13, also criticized fellow competitors from Sweden who painted their fingernails in rainbow colors to support gays and lesbians in the face of the new Russian antigay law.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation in June prohibiting "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors," sparking an international outcry among human rights activists who say it discriminates against individuals according to their sexual orientation.

Based on reporting by AP and the BBC
Flowers are placed near a photo of journalist and human rights activist Natalya Estemirova during a rally in Moscow following her killing in July 2009.
The official investigation into the killing of Russian-Chechen rights activist and journalist Natalya Estemirova has been extended again.

Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on August 15 that the probe into the reporter's death will continue until October 14.

The investigation has been extended a number of times since her death.

Estemirova was abducted in the Chechen capital on July 15, 2009. Her body was found the next day in neighboring Ingushetia.

The Memorial Human Rights Center, where Estemirova worked, says an initial investigation by the authorities showed the possible involvement of local law enforcement officers in the crime.

On August 15, Markin reiterated that an alleged militant fugitive, Alkhazur Bashayev, and three unidentified individuals are the prime suspects.

Markin added that investigators found the pistol used in the killing and linked it to Bashayev.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS

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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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