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Russian theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov in court on December 4.

The Moscow City Court has upheld a lower court’s decision to extend the house arrest for renowned Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov, whose detention on fraud charges stunned the Russian artistic world and elicited support internationally.

According to Moscow's Basmanny District Court's October 17 decision, Serebrennikov should remain under house arrest until January 19.

The 48-year-old director of Moscow’s famed Gogol Theater was arrested in August and accused of embezzling some $1 million in state funds. He has called the charges absurd.

In addition to his theatrical work, Serebrennikov is a respected filmmaker.

Before his arrest, he clashed with Russia’s Culture Ministry over the staging of a ballet about legendary Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who defected to the West in 1961.

Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky suggested that production might violate a 2013 "gay propaganda" law.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax
Murod Juraev (left) upon his release from prison in 2015.

TASHKENT -- Murod Juraev, a prominent Uzbek opposition figure who was released in 2015 after more than 21 years in prison, has died aged 65.

Tashkent-based independent journalist Abdurahmon Tashanov told RFE/RL that Juraev died on December 4 after a long illness.

According to Tashanov, Juraev had been expected to travel to Germany to receive medical treatment there.

Juraev, an ethnic Turkmen, used to be an opposition lawmaker in the early 1990s.

In September 1994, he was arrested and charged with planning to forcibly overthrow the government.

His supporters say the case was politically motivated.

In 1995, Juraev was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

But Uzbek officials extended his prison terms on at least four occasions, saying that Juraev "violated" internal order within the prison.

His release in November 2015 from a penitentiary in the town of Chirchiq near Tashkent was welcomed by international human rights organizations.

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