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Blogger and opposition figure Aleksei Navalny
Russian authorities have launched a new criminal investigation against opposition figure Aleksei Navalny.

The federal Investigative Committee said December 14 that Navalny and his brother Oleg were being investigated over the alleged theft of $1.79 million by a trading company with which they are involved.

Navalny, an anticorruption blogger who has organized protests over the past year against President Vladimir Putin, already faces charges of theft that he says are politically motivated.

The Investigative Committee's announcement comes a day before the opposition is due to stage an anti-Putin march in Moscow.

Navalny reacted to the announcement by saying on Twitter: "I'm not enough for them, they are now after my family."

He said that the apartments of his brother and his parents were being searched.

Navalny faces up to 10 years in jail if found guilty of the earlier charges.

Based on reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and Reuters
Khaled el-Masri
The European Court of Human Rights has found Macedonia responsible for the torture and ill-treatment of a man who was mistaken for a terrorism suspect.

The December 13 decision by the court in Strasbourg, France is the first major legal victory for Khaled el-Masri.

The Lebanese-born German citizen says he was abducted by the CIA in Macedonia in 2003.

El-Masri says the CIA kept him in a Skopje hotel for 23 days and then interrogated him at a secret prison in Afghanistan, where he remained until 2004.

Macedonia denied involvement in the kidnapping, but the court ordered Skopje to pay $78,300 in damages.

Previously, el-Masri brought unsuccessful legal cases in the United States and Europe against the practice of “extraordinary rendition” or the capture and extrajudicial transfer of suspects from one country to another.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa

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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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