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Lukpan Akhmedyarov is taken to hospital after being stabbed and shot in Oral on April 19.
ORAL, Kazakhstan -- Colleagues say the life of a Kazakh journalist who received serious injuries in an assault is no longer in danger.

Lukpan Akhmedyarov, a correspondent for the "Uralskaya nedelya" weekly in western city of Oral, was stabbed and shot by a pneumatic weapon on April 19.

“Uralskaya nedelya" editor in chief Tamara Eslyamova told RFE/RL that Akhmedyarov has been moved from intensive care to a regular hospital room and is able to talk.

Akhmedyarov's colleagues say they believe the attack was connected to his professional activities.

International organizations and rights groups have condemned the attack and called on Kazakh authorities to investigate.

Since late 2009, Akhmedyarov has been the target of at least three defamation lawsuits from Kazakh authorities over his critical reporting of their activities.
A protest against the death penalty in Belarus held in Warsaw in March
HRODNA, Belarus -- Belarusian authorities have seized copies of a documentary film about the use of the death penalty in Belarus.

Rights activists Viktar Sazonau and Uladzimer Khilmanovich from the western town of Hrodna said their car was searched at a Belarusian-Lithuanian border checkpoint on April 22 as they were returning from Vilnius.

They said DVDs of the documentary, which was filmed recently in Lithuania, were confiscated.

The documentary includes reports on recent executions in Belarus, which is the only European country that still conducts executions.

Customs officials said the documentary should undergo what they called “a professional assessment” before being allowed to be shown in Belarus.

The Belarusian regime has faced international criticism since the two men convicted of bombing the Minsk subway one year ago, killing 15, were executed in March by a single bullet to the back of the head.

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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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