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Iranian authorities have arrested an Iranian-American on charges of defrauding $2.6 million from people seeking U.S. residency, the country's judiciary said on March 5.

"A dual national holding Iranian and American citizenship has been arrested recently, who had swindled many Iranians, taking [money] ... to fix their residency," Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, was quoted as saying by the judiciary-affiliated Mizan news agency.

Mohseni Ejei said the unnamed suspect had pocketed more than 100 billion rials ($2.6 million).

Several Iranian-Americans have been detained in recent months and kept behind bars on espionage charges.

They include businessman Siamak Namazi and his 80-year-old father Baquer Namazi who have been sentenced to 10 years in prison forallegedly "collaborating with the hostile American government.”

Based on reporting by Reuters and Mizan
Elena Urlaeva has been monitoring the use of child labor in Uzbekistan's cotton industry for many years.

A leading Uzbek human rights campaigner has released a video from a Tashkent psychiatric facility in which she describes being abducted by police and hospitalized against her will.

Activist Elena Ulaeva, head of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan, made the video on March 3, describing her abduction two days earlier.

She said the police detained her in order to prevent her scheduled meeting with representatives of the World Bank on March 2 in which she planned to discuss the problem of human trafficking in Uzbekistan.

She charged that police beat her and insulted her before leaving her in the hospital.

A police officer told RFE/RL that no one used physical force on Ulaeva.

Ulaeva, 56, has been monitoring the use of child labor in Uzbekistan's cotton industry for many years, in addition to monitoring numerous other human rights issues.

She has been forcibly placed in psychiatric treatment repeatedly in the past, most recently she was held for three month beginning in March 2016.

Earlier this year, the International Organization for Labor reported that about one-third of Uzbekistan's 2.8 million cotton-pickers were "nonvoluntary" laborers.

With reporting by Reuters

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