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Kazakh Prison Guard Jailed Nine Years For Rape Of Inmate
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A court in Almaty has sentenced a former prison guard to nine years in jail in an inmate rape case.

The Turksib District Court on September 30 found Ruslan Khakimov guilty of raping inmate Natalya Slekishina and sentenced him the same day.

Slekishina, who gave a birth to a girl while in custody, filed a lawsuit against several guards of an Almaty detention center, accusing them of gang-raping her.

A DNA test revealed that Khakimov had fathered the child. The other prison guards were not charged but were brought to the trial that started on August 11 as witnesses.

Khakimov pleaded not guilty.

Slekishina, who continues to serve her prison term, said she is satisfied with the court's decision but added that she will work on bringing to justice other prison guards who she says raped her.

Slekishina's lawyer, Aiman Omarova, called the court's ruling precedent-setting and said her client will file a lawsuit against the Kazakh government for failure to provide secure conditions in custody.

Omarova added that rape in custody by prison guards can be defined as torture, stressing that Kazakhstan has international obligations to prevent torture in its penitentiary system.

Activists Attack Moscow Exhibition Showing Photos Of Ukraine Soldiers
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Dozens of people, some of them in military and traditional Cossack uniforms, have destroyed photos taken in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine that were on exhibit in Moscow.

The group of men and women entered the Sakharov Center in Moscow on September 29, carrying a large jar containing a red liquid with a label saying "Blood of Donbas Children Killed by Ukrainian Army."

They tore down all of the photos in the exhibition, which had been organized by the Center of Documentary Photography, demanding its closure and threatening to sue the organizers for "propagating extremism."

The photos were taken in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where government forces have been fighting Russia-backed separatists since April 2014.

On September 28, a man sprayed the photographs with red paint and called the photographers -- Alyaksandr Vasyukovich of Belarus and Russia's Sergei Loiko -- "fascists."

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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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