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Vadim Kuramshin's activities have helped to raise awareness of violations of inmates' rights in Kazakh penitentiaries.
ASTANA -- A jailed Kazakh human rights defender, Vadim Kuramshin, will be formally awarded the prestigious 18th annual Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize in Paris.

Kuramshin's mother, Olga Koltunova, is expected to receive the prize at a ceremony in the French capital on December 5.

A jury of 29 European lawyers awarded the prize to Kuramshin in June. The first Ludovic-Trarieux human rights prize was awarded to Nelson Mandela in 1985.

Kuramshin's activities have helped to raise awareness of violations of inmates' rights in Kazakh penitentiaries, including the notorious EC 164/4 prison, where he is currently incarcerated.

Last month, Kazakhstan's Supreme Court rejected Kuramshin's appeal to overturn his prison sentence.

Kuramshin had been appealing a 12-year prison sentence that he began serving in December 2012 after being found guilty of extortion, a charge widely perceived to be politically motivated.

With reporting by "The Guardian"
Journalists are holding demonstrations across Pakistan to protest an attack on the offices of one of the country's leading media groups.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists will hold rallies in front of the national parliament in Islamabad and in major cities across the country on December 3.

They are protesting a bomb and gunfire attack by unknown assailants late on December 2 on the offices of the Express Media Group in the southern port city of Karachi.

The group publishes the Urdu-language "Daily Express" and the English-language "Express Tribune" dailies. It also runs a popular television news channel, Express News.

Pakistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, with nearly 50 killed during the past five years.

But armed attacks on major media houses in the country are still rare.

Based on reporting by Tribune.com.pk and BBC Urdu

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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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