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Kazakh journalist Guzyal Baidalinova (right) and lawyer Inessa Kisileva talk in Almaly district court in December.

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A court in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, has prolonged pretrial arrest for journalist Guzyal Baidalinova.

Baidalinova's lawyer, Inessa Kisilyova, told RFE/RL that the Almaly district court ruled on February 16 that her client must be kept in detention until at least March 23.

Baidalinova, the owner and editor of the online news portal, was detained on December 23 after one of Kazakhstan's largest banks, Kazkommertzbank, filed a lawsuit against her, accusing her of "organization and publishing false data."

Baidalinova was initially sent to two months' pretrial detention on December 26.

Another journalist of, Yulia Kozlova, is on trial on drugs-related charges.

Both Baidalinova and Kozlova reject the charges, calling them politically motivated.

Pakistan's southern province of Sindh has become the first region in the largely Muslim country to give Hindus the right to register their marriages officially.

Lawmakers in Sindh, home to many of Pakistan's 3 million-strong Hindu community, passed the bill on February 15.

Activists say that without a legal framework to register their unions, Hindu women are easy targets for forced conversions, abduction, and rape, and there is a lack of rights for widows.

Under the new legislation, Hindus above the age of 18 in Sindh can register their unions. It can be applied retroactively to existing marriages.

However, the law contains a controversial clause that allows the marriage to be annulled if any spouse converts.

The country's national assembly is considering a similar legislation.

Christians, Pakistan’s other main religious minority, have a colonial-era law regulating their marriages.

Based on reporting by AFP and the BBC

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