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Kazakhstan has withdrawn the operating licenses of almost 90 foreign television channels over "the failure to comply with a new law on registration."

The Ministry of Information and Communications said on August 8 that the registration certificates of 88 television channels, including Russia's NTV Plus 3D, Dozhd, Russia Today, Spas, Radost Moya, the Nautical Channel, MUSICBOX, RU.TV, Fashion TV, Dozhd, TNT-Comedy, etc. had been withdrawn.

According to the statement, the move came after the channels failed to register as legal entities or register their offices in Kazakhstan for six months after the new law was endorsed on January 9.

The statement said 219 foreign television channels broadcasting to Kazakhstan have complied with the law and their programs will stay accessible in the Central Asian nation.

The three defendants (from left to right): Yauhen Baranouski, Anton Vyazhevich, and Yahor Skuratovich

MINSK -- Three Belarusian Army sergeants have gone on trial over the suspicious death of young conscript, Alyaksandr Korzhych, in October.

The Minsk Regional Court said on August 8 that Anton Vyazhevich, Yahor Skuratovich, and Yauhen Baranouski were charged with abuse of power and bribe-taking. Baranouski was also charged with theft.

Korzhych, 21, was found hanged in the basement of the infirmary of the Pechy military training base northeast of Minsk on October 3, less than five months after he was drafted. His feet were tied with a shoestring, and he had a t-shirt over his head.

His relatives say he complained of being the target of hazing by senior officers. He was mostly being pressurized for money by his superiors, relatives said.

Korzhych was the second conscript found hanged at an army base in Belarus in less than six months, sparking a debate about hazing in the army and calls for the defense minister's resignation.

The Investigative Committee initially said the cause of Korzhych's death was suicide, but after his family and human rights activists started a campaign urging authorities to investigate the death, the committee launched an investigation into violations of army regulations, abuse of authority, and fraud.

Hazing has been a serious problem in militaries throughout the former Soviet Union, with extortion frequently reported by victims.

In Belarus, 37 suicides were recorded in the army between 2008 and 2017, according to Defense Ministry statistics.

Media reports said that in 2017 alone there were four apparent suicides in the Belarusian armed forces.

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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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