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Saeed Abedini with his and his wife Naghmeh and their two children in an undated photo
The wife of Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini says U.S. President Obama should call for the release of her husband, who has been jailed for his religious activities.

On August 26, an Iranian court rejected an appeal to reduce Abedini's eight-year prison sentence.

He has been jailed in Iran since September 2012 on charges that he attempted to undermine state security by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes.

He was put on trial in January and sentenced to prison.

Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, told RFE/RL that her husband should be released immediately.

The U.S. State Department has in the past called for Abedini's release.

With reporting by AP
Investigators Raid Home Of Russian Gay-Rights Activist
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Russian investigators have raided the Moscow apartment of prominent Russian gay-rights activist Nikolai Alekseyev.

Alekseyev reported the August 27 raid on Twitter.

Prosecutors have launched a criminal probe against Alekseyev for allegedly insulting two senior female members of parliament while commenting on controversial Russian antigay legislation.

The head of the State Duma Committee for Women, Families, and Children, Yelena Mizulina, and her deputy, Olga Batalina, claim Alekseyev repeatedly insulted them on the Internet by using obscenities.

Mizulina was one of the key sponsors of the law banning homosexual "propaganda" denounced by rights activist in Russia and abroad.

She says prosecutors have been asked to open a criminal case regarding the possible charge of insulting a state authority official -- an offense that could carry a fine of up to 40,000 rubles (over $1,000).

Based on reporting by Rapsi.ru and Lenta.ru

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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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