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RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service reporter Turkhan Karimov (file photo)

BAKU -- An RFE/RL correspondent has been briefly detained and questioned by police in Baku, and warned "not to be critical of the government."

Turkhan Karimov says he was stopped near his home on the morning of November 28 by plainclothes police officers who forced him into a vehicle and took him to in Baku's Narimanov district police office.

Karimov was released after several hours of questioning.

He says he was asked about his work and salary, as well as about Khadija Ismayilova, a prominent journalist and government critic.

Karimov says the district police chief warned him to be "careful about what he was doing" and told him "all citizens should support the government."

With some 80,000 followers on Facebook, Karimov is a well-known journalist in Azerbaijan.

The government in Baku has long been criticized for its crackdowns on journalists, human right activists, and political opponents.

NAVAPOLATSAK, Belarus -- Belarusian opposition activist Andrey Haydukou has been sentenced to 10 days in jail in his native town of Navapolatsak in the country's north.

Haydukou, a founder of the unregistered Belarusian Christian Democratic Party, was sentenced on November 25 for "illegal" distribution of print materials.

He was detained on November 21 after distributing leaflets with data about political prisoners in the tightly controlled former Soviet republic.

Haydukou was released from jail in May after serving an 18-month term after for attempting to contact a foreign intelligence service.

Haydukou denied guilt and said his imprisonment was politically motivated.

In 2010-11, Haydukou served as an aide to opposition presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau, who received political asylum in Europe in 2012 after spending 16 months in jail following a crackdown on protests over the disputed re-election of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Lukashenka has tolerated little dissent during his 20 years as president.

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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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