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Valery Senderov

MOSCOW -- Well-known Soviet-era dissident and human rights activist Valery Senderov has died at the age of 69.

Senderov's friends say he unexpectedly died in his Moscow apartment on November 12. It is unclear what caused the death.

In 2012, Senderov was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Senderov, a mathematician and philosopher, began his human rights activities in the late 1970s. He was arrested in 1982 and sentenced to seven years in jail and five years of exile for "anti-Soviet propaganda."

Senderov, along with many other dissidents, was released from jail in March 1987 amid Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika policies.

After his release, Senderov actively participated in the creation of the Christian-Democratic movement in Russia.

With reporting by

KHABAROVSK, Russia -- The editor in chief of an independent Russian news website says he has been detained at the airport in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk.

Oleg Potapenko of the online news portal told his colleagues by phone on November 12 that he and his partner had been detained while heading to Hong Kong.

Potapenko said police confiscated their mobile phones, laptops, and tablets, saying they might contain classified information.

Potapenko, who is openly gay, was held for four hours and interrogated by police at Khabarovsk's airport in July upon his return from a forum of nongovernmental organizations in Georgia.

At the time, Potapenko called the incident "psychological pressure.” has reported about the presence of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine, where the Ukrainian Army has been battling pro-Russian separatists.

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