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ASTANA -- Beijing has handed over to Kazakhstan four Kazakh citizens who were convicted in China on charges of drug trafficking and murder.

Kazakhstan's Prosecutor-General told RFE/RL on March 4 that the Kazakh citizens will serve their prison terms in Kazakhstan.

The convicts' identities and prison terms were not provided.

The office representatives said though that 22-year-old Kazakh woman Aqzharqyn Turlybaeva, who was arrested in China in March 2014 and sentenced to life in prison for illegal drug trafficking, was not among the convicts handed over to Astana.

A Kazakh-Chinese agreement on exchanging citizens sentenced to prison terms was signed in 2011 and ratified by Kazakhstan in November 2013 and by China in July 2015.

Since January 2015, Chinese authorities have executed a Tajik citizen Hasan Yusufov and Kyrgyz national Svetlana Kulbaeva, who had been convicted of drug trafficking.

Russian rock musician Andrei Makarevich has been critical of Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- A concert scheduled in St. Petersburg by Russian rock musician Andrei Makarevich has been cancelled by city officials.

Makarevich, leader of the band Mashina Vremeni (Time Machine), wrote on Facebook on March 4 that administrators at the Lensovet Culture House cancelled his April 7 concert over what they described as threats from a group called "The Patriots of Leningrad."

Many of Makarevich’s concerts have been cancelled across Russia since 2014 after he publicly criticized Russia's role in Ukraine.

Last year, pro-Kremlin lawmakers and commentators in Russia branded Makarevich a traitor for his public stance against Moscow’s forceful annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Russia's military support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Aleksandr Kobrinsky, a member of St. Petersburg’s municipal legislature, criticized the cancellation of the concert.

Kobrinsky told RFE/RL that he has asked the city prosecutor’s office determine whether the cancellation was legal.

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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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