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Tatar Blogger Released

A Tatarstan court released blogger and opposition journalist Irek Murtazin on parole after he served 14 months of his 21-month sentence, Interfax reported late Monday.

The one-time spokesman for former Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiyev was sentenced for libel in November 2009 after speculating on his blog that Shaimiyev might be dead after the president disappeared for days on a Turkish vacation.

His wife said in April that he went on a hunger strike to protest being placed in solitary confinement for violating prison rules.

Shaimiyev resigned after nearly two decades in office in January 2010.


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