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A correspondent for the Kazakh opposition weekly "Taszharghan," Artyom Miusov, is in critical condition after being stabbed Monday night by an unknown assailant.

"Taszharghan" editor in chief Almat Azadi told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that Miusov was assaulted after first being asked to say his name.

Azadi says Miusov writes under a pseudonym because those associated with "Taszharghan" routinely face harrassment.

After responding to the attacker by stating his real name, Miusov was stabbed three times and hospitalized with injuries to his liver and lungs.
Aleksandr Bragin was arrested on December 29 by officers from the Russian Interior Ministry's department for combating terrorism and extremism.

His offense: publishing an article about the effects of the country's sharp economic downturn on Ulyanovsk, a Volga city some 900 kilometers east of Moscow.

Bragin's article was posted on December 29 on the website of the Russian Popular Democratic Union, an opposition party led by former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, whose regional Ulyanovsk branch is headed by Bragin.

Yelena Dikun, a Kasyanov aide, told RFE/RL's Russian Service that law enforcement agencies are accusing Bragin of tarnishing the region's image.

Read the full story here.

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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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