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A woman holds a Ozgur Gundem newspaper in front of a police barricade in Istanbul in August.

Police in Turkey have detained a prominent investigative journalist over a series of social-media postings.

Ahmet Sik, a government critic, was detained in Istanbul on December 29 on suspicion that he engaged in "terrorist propaganda" on Twitter, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The journalist tweeted that he was being taken away.

"I am being detained. I am going to be taken to the prosecutor's office over a tweet," he said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, also in Istanbul, the trial opened for novelist Asli Erdogan, writer Necmiye Alpay, and several other editors or senior employees of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem, which was shut down earlier this year.

They are accused of membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The court later ordered the release of Erdogan and Alpay pending their trial.

At least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, with dozens of media outlets shut since a failed coup attempt in July.

The crackdown has led to international concern, with rights groups accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of using the coup as a pretext to muzzle dissent.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (file photo)

A Kazakh court has sentenced a man to three years in prison for posting critical social-media comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Prosecutors in the city of Aqtobe on December 27 found businessman Sanat Dosov guilty of "inciting social discord" and sentenced him to serve in a penal colony based on Facebook posts he had made from July 2014 to March 2016.

Dosov's attorney said his client would appeal the ruling.

Prosecutors said Dosov, 46, had violated the law by posting statements online that said Putin was "ruining" Russia, that were critical of his social policies, and that condemned Moscow's involvement in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Dosov, who is also chairman of the civic group Ihtiyar, reportedly admitted to posting the comments on social-media sites and pleaded with the court not to send him to jail as he has six dependent children.

With reporting by Nur.kz

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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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