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Iran says it arrested an Iranian-American dual citizen in late July on charges of plotting against national security and collaborating with hostile governments.

Mizan Online, the judiciary news agency, said on August 31 that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps arrested the person in the province of Golestan.

The report, which did not name the suspect, appeared to be referring to Robin Shahini.

According to friends of Shahini, he was arrested in July in Gorgan, the capital of Golestan Province, while visiting his mother.

His family members have said they feared Shahini -- who left Iran in 1998 and has lived in San Diego, California, for 16 years -- was arrested because of critical comments he made online about Iran's human rights record.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

A court in Russia's Tatarstan region has jailed a member of an Islamist group on charges of robbery and stealing a gun.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) office in Tatarstan said on August 31 that a court in the city of Alabuga found Albert Ilyin guilty on the charges and sentenced him 8 1/2 years in prison.

Ilyin was a member of so-called Rybno-Sloboda Jamaat, a militant Islamist group in Tatarstan that previously had links with the self-proclaimed Caucasus Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz) in Russia's North Caucasus.

Russian authorities say that Rybno-Sloboda Jamaat members were responsible for seven attacks and attempted five failed attacks that used explosives on critical infrastructure.

The attacks targeted electricity lines, power stations, and natural gas pipelines in Tatarstan and in neighboring regions of Russia.

The group's leader Albert Galiyev was sentenced to 22 years in prison earlier in 2016.

Based on reporting by and Interfax

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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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