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Jailed Belarusian politician Andrey Sannikau
The wife of the jailed Belarusian presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau says Sannikau was "forced" to author a letter to authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka asking for his freedom.

It is not clear if Lukashenka has responded to the plea made by Sannikau in November.

Iryna Khalip, who visited her jailed husband on January 20, said in a statement on January 25 that Sannikau looked like “a man who had lived at least 10 years in Stalin’s camps.”

She said Sannikau passed her a note warning that he could be “killed at any time.” Sannikau was an opposition candidate in the controversial 2010 Belarus presidential election, officially finishing second behind Luakshenka.

He was arrested after the election and sentenced to five years' imprisonment on charges of organizing mass disturbances.
Saeed Razavi Faqih
Reformist Iranian journalist and former student activist Saeed Razavi Faqih has been reportedly arrested upon returning to Tehran from Paris where he was residing.

Friends of Razavi Faqih have said that he has been missing for about a week when he traveled back to Iran.

Reports say he was detained at the airport and transferred to jail. The reason for his arrest is not clear.

It comes amid a new wave of crackdown on journalists, bloggers, and activists ahead of the March parliamentary elections.

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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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