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Dilmurod Sayyid
SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan -- Uzbek human rights activist Dilmurod Sayyid has been sentenced to 12 1/2 years in jail, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

The Toyloq district court in the Samarkand region found Sayid, 48, guilty of extortion and forgery.

Abdurakhmon Tashanov, a colleague of Sayyid's who defended him at the trial, told RFE/RL that neither the defendant's relatives nor his lawyers were allowed to be present in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.

The court said they were kept out for "security reasons."

Tashanov said Sayyid was sentenced for his professional activities as a human rights activist and journalist.

He had worked for the newspaper "Advokat Press" until an article he wrote that was critical of the government was published and the newspaper was shut down in 2005.
VILNIUS -- The editor in chief of Russia's Regnum Information Agency, Modest Kolerov, has been prevented from entering Lithuania by train despite having a valid Shengen visa in his passport, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Kolerov was on his way to the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, to take part in an international conference on Russian-Lithuanian relations.

Lithuanian border guards asked Kolerov to step off the Moscow-Vilnius train and told him that Lithuania's migration authorities consider him an undesirable alien.

Kolerov said he still intends to take part in the conference via mobile phone and the Internet.

He accused media in Lithuania of mischaracterizing him as an adversary of Lithuania.

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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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