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Kazakh civil rights activist Suin Abulda (file photo)

SHYMKENT, Kazakhstan -- A court in Kazakhstan's southern city of Shymkent has placed civil rights activist Suin Abulda under arrest for two months pending further investigation and trial.

Al-Farabi District Court judge Ghani Baiarystan told RFE/RL that Abulda was charged with intentionally providing investigators with false information in a fraud case and arrested on December 8.

Neither Abulda nor his lawyers were available for comment.

Abulda was jailed for 15 days in May 2016, over his involvement in rallies against land reforms.

In April and May 2016, thousands of people across Kazakhstan protested against changes to the Central Asian country's Land Code allowing land privatization. Dozens of people were sentenced to several days in jail or fined.

Activists Maks Boqaev and Talgat Ayan, who were involved in protests in the western city of Atyrau, were sentenced to five years in prison each after being found guilty of inciting social discord, knowingly spreading false information, and violating the law on public assembly.

Amnesty International considers both men to be prisoners of conscience.

Tajik journalist Hairullo Mirsaidov (file photo)

SUGHD, Tajikistan -- Prominent Tajik journalist Hairullo Mirsaidov has been arrested and charged with embezzlement, inciting hatred, document forgery, and false reporting to police.

The prosecutor's office in the northern region of Sughd said that Mirsaidov was charged and sent to pretrial detention on December 8.

Mirsaidov's relatives told RFE/RL that the journalist was initially detained on December 5 and held in custody until the ruling.

Last month, Mirsaidov told RFE/RL that he had officially appealed to President Emomali Rahmon, Prosecutor-General Yusuf Rahmon, and Sughd regional governor Abdurahmon Qodiri, informing them of what he said was extortion by local authorities in Sughd.

Mirsaidov said that local officials who helped him secure budget funds for an improvisational comedy team to travel to Moscow to compete on a program called KVN demanded a $1,000 bribe, which he said he refused to pay.

Mirsaidov, 39, is a former correspondent of Dushanbe-based Asia-Plus news agency and Germany's Deutsche Welle radio.

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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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