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SHAKHTINSK, Kazakhstan -- A civil rights activist in Kazakhstan's central town of Shakhtinsk has been found dead in his apartment.

Takhir Mukhamedzyanov, 51, whose body was found on June 5, had fought for the rights of coal miners for many years.

The cause of death was not immediately available.

Reports suggested there were no signs of violence on Mukhamedzyanov's body.

An official autopsy report is expected later this week.

Colleagues told RFE/RL that Mukhamedzyanov had received numerous threats to his well-being by phone, his garage and car were blown up last year, and papers connected to his research were stolen.

Mukhamedzyanov had recently been involved in working with activists defending the rights of oil workers in the town of Zhanaozen, where at least 16 protesters were shot dead by police in December.
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, undated
Jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has been transferred to a hospital, his family has told RFE/RL.

Ronaghi Maleki has been on hunger strike since more than a week ago to protest his detention conditions.

The 26-year-old blogger has said that he will refuse to eat food until he is granted medical leave.

Amnesty International said last week Ronaghi Maleki had developed kidney disease since his arrest.

According to the rights group, Ronaghi Maleki has undergone at least four operations and now requires another to remove his left kidney.

Ronaghi Maleki was jailed following the 2009 antigovernment protests and sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges that included insulting Iran's leaders and spreading propaganda against the Islamic establishment.

Ronaghi Maleki has been reportedly subjected to psychological and physical torture in prison.

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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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