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Yuri Shchekochikhin
French toxicologists will probe the 2003 death of a prominent Russian journalist.

A Russian Investigative Committee spokesman told journalists that although "it is clear that the death of Yuri Shchekochikhin was not a crime," French forensics experts will look into the case.

Shchekochikhin was a long-time investigative reporter who also covered the war in Chechnya in the 1990s. He became a Duma deputy in 1995.

The official autopsy in July 2003 concluded that his death was allergy-related.

However, the journalist's colleagues insisted that Shchekochikhin's work as a reporter was the real cause.

Officials closed the case in 2009 but reopened it in 2010.

"Novaya gazeta" chief editor Dmitry Muratov said the Investigative Committee’s statement that Shchekochikhin's death was not a crime was "premature."

Based on reporting by "Novaya gazeta" and Interfax
Leonid Razvozzhayev speaking to journalists outside the police investigators' offices in Moscow on October 11.
ANGARSK, Russia -- The president of the Lawyers Collegiate in the Siberian city of Angarsk says a jailed opposition activist is being deprived of sleep in a detention center.

Vyacheslav Ivanets, who said he visited Leonid Razvozzhayev at the center on January 15, told RFE/RL that guards do not allow Razvozzhayev to sit or lie on his bed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Ivanets says Razvozzhayev also complained that he has health problems and cannot eat the jail's food.

He also says Razvozzhayev is banned from buying food and newspapers from a shop inside the detention center.

Razvozzhayev was arrested in October for his alleged role in organizing unsanctioned, violent protests in Moscow.

He is also being charged with armed robbery in connection with a 15-year-old incident.

Razvozzhayev says authorities kidnapped him and used torture to force him to confess.

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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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