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Sergei Udaltsov is detained on October 12
Russian opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov was fined for organizing an unsanctioned meeting, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Moscow's Tver District Court found Udaltsov guilty of organizing a mass gathering on October 12 in front of the Moscow Mayoral Office without official permission and fined him the equivalent of $50.

Udaltsov, coordinator of the Left Front movement, told RFE/RL that he does not agree with the verdict and plans to appeal.

On October 12, activists in Moscow tried to stage a mass gathering in front of the mayor's office in order to send a message to the soon-to-be-named replacement for Yury Luzhkov as mayor. Sergei Sobyanin, a close aide to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, was confirmed as mayor on October 21.

Police dispersed the gathering, arresting dozens of people, including Udaltsov and well-known human rights activist Lev Ponomarev.
Eynulla Fatullayev (file photo)
Jailed Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev is ignoring calls for him to end the hunger strike he began last week, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Azerbaijani journalists and human rights activists have appealed to Fatullayev to "conserve his health for the fight against dictatorship."

Fatullayev's father, Emin Fatullayev, visited him on October 26. Emin Fatullayev told RFE/RL his son did not intend to end the protest.

He also said Eynulla "has no health problems, doctors measure his blood pressure and monitor his condition."

Fatullayev, editor of the independent newspaper "Realny Azerbaijan," was sentenced in 2007 to 11 years in prison on charges including tax evasion and fomenting interethnic hatred.

Rights organizations believe the charges against him were fabricated.

Fatullayev began the hunger strike to demand the Azerbaijani authorities comply with an April 22 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg that he be released immediately and paid 25,000 euros ($34,467) in compensation.

An Azerbaijani Supreme Court spokesman told local media this week the court might convene an ad hoc session to discuss the ECHR ruling.

Fatullayev was sentenced in July to an additional 2 1/2 years in prison after a trace amount of drugs were allegedly found in his prison cell. Fatullayev said the drugs were planted.

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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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