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Aleksandr Dolmatov left Russia in June
According to Russian media reports, a Russian opposition activist has taken his life in the Netherlands after being denied asylum in that country.

Interfax says a spokeswoman for the Russian Embassy in the Netherlands confirmed Aleksandr Dolmatov committed suicide "at a refugee facility" but could not provide details.

There has been no official confirmation from Dutch police.

The Other Russia opposition party of which Dolmatov was a member also reported his death and said he had been denied asylum in the Netherlands.

Dolmatov, a designer at a Russian defense firm, had been arrested during a mass opposition demonstration in Moscow in May, but was released.

The protest led to clashes between demonstrators and police.

Dolmatov left Russia in June after police raided his Moscow apartment.
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

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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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