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Aleh Vouchak
Belarusian human rights activist Aleh Vouchak has been found guilty by a Minsk court of using vulgar words in public and sentenced to nine days in jail.

Fellow rights activist Raisa Mikhaylovskaya told RFE/RL that police arrested Vouchak on May 24 when he was outside his office in Minsk talking with a colleague.

The colleague, Zmitser Kukhley, said he did not hear Vouchak use any vulgar words in the presence of the police officers.

Vouchak was found guilty and sentenced later on May 24.

Vouchak is a former investigator at the Minsk prosecutor's office.

Since 1990, he has been involved in human rights activities.

In January, he was found guilty of verbally insulting police and sentenced to four days in jail.

Vouchak’s colleagues say his arrest is politically motivated.

-- RFE/RL’s Belarus Service
Idrak Abbasov
EU lawmakers on May 24 adopted a resolution calling for an "immediate stop to all actions aimed at suppressing the freedom of expression and assembly" in Azerbaijan.

The motion, supported by all major groups in the European Parliament, condemns the brutal beating of the Azeri journalist Idrak Abbasov and the "campaign of blackmail and intimidation" against another journalist, Khadija Ismaylova, a correspondent for RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service.

There is also a call for the immediate release from prison or pre-trial detention of six other journalists.

Azeri authorities are also encouraged to "allow peaceful protests."

The upcoming Eurovision Song Contest is mentioned as the European Parliament condemns the threat made by radical Islamist organizations against participants, in particular individuals belonging to the LGBT community.

There is also a concern about the forced evictions and demolition of buildings in Baku in connection with the upcoming event.

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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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