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Russian historian Yury Dmitriyevin police custody earlier this year.

A lawyer for a Russian historian who is being tried on child pornography charges his supporters say are politically motivated has asked a court to move his client from jail to house arrest.

Defense attorney Viktor Anufriyev made the request at a November 29 hearing in Yury Dmitriyev's trial in Petrozavodsk, the capital of the northwestern region of Karelia.

The judge did not rule on the motion and adjourned the trial until November 30 after hearing testimony from witnesses.

Dmitriyev, who heads the Karelia chapter of the human rights group Memorial, has worked for decades to expose crimes committed there by the Soviet state under dictator Josef Stalin.

Investigators say Dmitriyev intended to use 49 nude photos of his foster daughter Natasha that were found in his personal computer to create pornographic material to share online. He is charged with "preparing and distributing child pornography."

Dmitriyev, his lawyer, and colleagues say the photos were taken because medical workers had asked him to monitor the health and development of the girl, who was malnourished and unhealthy when he and his wife took her in at age 3 with the intention of adopting her.

Each photograph was accompanied by notation of the girl's height, weight, and general health. Many of them appear to have been taken ahead of scheduled visits by social workers, possibly to document that Natasha had been well treated. According to social-services reports, nothing suspicious was ever noted.

Dmitriyev was arrested in December 2016 and went on trial on June 1.

With reporting by rk.karelia.ru
Fethullah Gulen

Prosecutors in Turkey have issued arrest warrants for 360 people in an operation targeting alleged supporters of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen within the army, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on November 29.

Anadolu reported that 333 of those facing arrest in the Istanbul-based operation were soldiers, 216 of them serving personnel. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government claims Gulen and his network orchestrated an attempted coup last year.

Gulen denies the charge.

Istanbul police officers were continuing operations to capture the suspects, Anadolu reported. The private Dogan news agency said seven of those facing arrest were pilots.

More than 50,000 people have been detained pending trial over links to Gulen, while 150,000 people have been fired or suspended from jobs in the public and private sectors since the July 15 failed coup, in which 250 people were killed.

Last week, nearly 700 people were detained in related investigations.

Turkey's Western allies and rights groups have voiced concern that Ankara is using the investigations to crack down on dissent.

With reporting by Reuters

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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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