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Taking It To The Streets - RFE/RL's Protest Rundown

Supporters of moderate Pakistani preacher Tahir-ul Qadri on the third day of their protest rally in Islamabad, 16Jan2013
Government officials, you have been put on notice. From Pakistan to Russia and many countries in between, citizens are taking to the streets and social media to protest everything from political corruption to unfair prison fines. A rundown of the most recent challenges follows.

# Pakistan's Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has brought tens of thousands of protestors to Islamabad and vows not to leave until the government resigns. Who benefits from the confrontation? Correspondents Charles Recknagel and Daud Khattak of Radio Mashaal report.

# In Azerbaijan, activists have started collecting money to help pay hundreds of dollars worth of fines for protesters penalized under a new law on mass gatherings -- five kopecks at a time. RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service reports.

# Tens of thousands of Sunnis have been protesting in Iraq over the past three weeks, as part of the largest wave of Sunni unrest since U.S. troops withdrew a year ago. Although they pose a major challenge for the government, the demonstrators' spiraling list of demands has left Baghdad uncertain how to contain the crisis. Radio Free Iraq correspondent Moyad al-Haidari and Charles Recknagel report.

# A second recording in a brewing scandal over alleged high-level corruption in Tajikistan has emerged online. In the recording posted on YouTube, a man alleged to be a son-in-law of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon is heard offering a bribe to a Tajik businessman. RFE/RL's Tajik Service speaks to an aide of the jailed businessman who has released the recordings.

# Russia's Radio Svoboda reports on the thousands of people who took part in a sanctioned march through the center of Moscow on Sunday to protest a new law that bans the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. Meanwhile, correspondent Claire Bigg reveals the quiet determination of one would-be adoptee as the teen fights to join his hopeful American family.

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