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Ramazan Esergepov
Jailed Kazakh journalist Ramazan Esergepov has written an appeal to the United Nations' Committee for Human Rights about his case, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Esergepov, the founder and chief editor of the Almaty-based "Alma-Ata Info," was sentenced last year to three years in prison for revealing state secrets in his newspaper in 2008. He says the case against him is politically motivated.

Kazakh authorities declined to release him on parole this year.

Esergepov protested the verdict against him and what he called pressure imposed on him by prison officials after he launched hunger strikes earlier this year.

His wife, Raushan Esergepova, delivered his appeal to Viktoria Tyuleneva, the chief of the Kazkahstan Bureau for Human Rights in Almaty, on July 28. The bureau will forward the appeal to the UN.

Kazakhstan is the current chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Emadeddin Baghi (file photo)
Iranian journalist and human rights activist Emadeddin Baghi has been sentenced to one year in jail and banned from political activity for five years, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

The opposition website "Jaras" reports that Baghi was sentenced in Tehran on July 25.

The founder of the Tehran-based Society to Defend Prisoners' Rights, Baghi had been charged with "acting against [Iran's] national security through the spreading of propaganda against the regime" and "disclosing classified documents about [Iran's] prisons."

Other charges against him include "visiting political prisoners' families and providing them with financial and legal help" as well as "having relations with human rights organizations abroad."

Prosecutors had also accused Baghi of "publishing the names of prisoners," who they refer to as "counterrevolutionaries and spies."

Baghi was temporarily released after posting a heavy bail in June following six months in jail. He had spent five of those months in solitary confinement.

Baghi has spent 4 1/2 years in prison in recent years.

He was awarded the Geneva-based Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2009.

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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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