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Tajik journalist Dodojon Atovuloev
Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based international media-rights group, has called on the Georgian authorities to quickly release a prominent Tajik opposition journalist.

Dodojon Atovulloev told RFE/RL by phone that he was stopped at passport control on August 20 and is being held in Tbilisi's airport after arriving from the Czech Republic.

Atovulloev said he was told he was detained at the request of Tajik authorities, who accuse him of extremism and terrorism.

Atovulloev is well-known for his reports that are critical of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and members of his family.

Reporters Without Borders said on August 20 the Tajik authorities' request to arrest him was politically motivated.

Last month, Atovulloev was denied entry at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where he also arrived from Prague.

Atovulloev, who has lived in the Russian capital for the last 20 years, survived an apparent assassination attempt last year.

He was stabbed several times in a Moscow restaurant.

He believes the attack was connected with his journalistic work.
Zinaida Mukhortova
BALKHASH, Kazakhstan -- Hearings have resumed into whether a Kazakh lawyer was legally admitted into a psychiatric hospital.

Zinaida Mukhortova's hearing in the city of Balkhash started on August 16 but was postponed until August 19 because her lawyer could not attend the session.

Mukhortova, who spent nine months in the psychiatric clinic last year, says she is mentally healthy and that the actions against her are politically motivated.

She says authorities took action against her after she filed complaints against a regional governor.

Mukhortova's latest forced psychiatric hospitalization began August 9.

Doctors have said she suffers from delusions.

The clinic's senior physician told RFE/RL last week that Mukhortova was forced into treatment after she ignored a court order.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on August 16 demanding Mukhortova's release from the clinic.

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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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