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Police eventually forcibly dispersed the antigovernment protest in Kyiv on December 1.
KYIV -- About 50 protesters are picketing the building of Kyiv's Court of Appeals, where hearings are being held into the appeal of a journalist detained in connection with recent political protests.

The protesters are chanting, "Freedom to political prisoners!"

Journalist Valeriy Harahuts is one of several people arrested for allegedly organizing antigovernment protests on Bankovaya Street near the presidential administration office in Kyiv on December 1.

One of the protesters, Oleksandr Solontay, told RFE/RL that protest actions to support the "prisoners of Bankovaya Street" will also be held in other Ukrainian towns and cities.

On December 1, security officers and protesters upset with the government over its failure to sign a key EU accord clashed in front of the presidential administration.

Several protesters were arrested.
Amnesty International is launching a letter-writing campaign in support of individuals and communities suffering human rights abuses.

Amnesty says it hopes the "Write For Rights" campaign, from December 6-17, will generate more than 2 million letters, faxes, e-mails, and text messages in support of 12 individuals and communities.

The rights watchdog's campaign is devoted to pressuring authorities to release prisoners in five countries -- Ethiopia, Burma, Bahrain, Tunisia, and Russia -- and for authorities to stop victimizing individuals in Cambodia, Mexico, Turkey, and Belarus.

The campaign also seeks to halt the persecution of communities in Nigeria, Palestine, and Honduras.

In Russia, Amnesty has described as "prisoners of conscience" three people jailed after last year’s Bolotnaya Square protests.

In Belarus, Amnesty says Ihar Tsikhanyuk, described as a "drag artist," faces police harassment.

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About This Blog

"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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RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More