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Russian journalist and blogger Dmitry Shipilov

Russian journalist Dmitry Shipilov from the Kemerovo region in Siberia has received political asylum in Ukraine.

Shipilov placed a photo on January 19 of his refugee document issued by Ukraine's Migration Service with a caption saying "the 10-month process is over at last, thanks to all."

Shipilov, who arrived in Ukraine in February 2014 and asked for political asylum, was sentenced to 11 months of community service in 2012 after he was convicted of insulting Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev, who has governed the region since 1997.

After refusing to perform community service, Shipilov was arrested in 2014 and spent three months in jail.

In 2014, Shipilov was under pressure over an interview he did with Siberian activist Artyom Loskutov, an organizer of a march calling for the "federalization" of Siberia that would mock Russian demands that Ukraine be federalized.

The march was banned by authorities and never took place.

Jailed Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova (left) and international rights lawyer Amal Clooney (combined photo)

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has offered to take the case of jailed Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova to the European Court of Human Rights.

Ismayilova, an RFE/RL contributor, and her lawyer are said to be considering Clooney's offer.

Clooney, the wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney, has taken on several prominent cases in recent years in such countries as Egypt, Armenia, and the Maldives, defending people imprisoned on charges often seen by human rights groups as politically motivated.

Ismayilova was sentenced in September 2015 to 7 1/2 years in prison on charges widely viewed as being trumped up in retaliation for her reports linking family members of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to massive business and real estate holdings.

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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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