EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russia: Kaliningrad Governors Silence Media

Posted by Info on 12/08/2011

Last week all 40,000 copies of Izvestia Kaliningrada a weekly published in Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad were seized. It was the latest example of regional governors abusing their power to silence media that annoy them.The newspaper’s owner and editor, Oleg Altovsky, was detained for several hours.

The head of the Regional Centre for Combating Extremism had been informed that the issue contained extremist statements.
The issue, which was to have been published on the eve of a visit by President Medvedev, contained an open letter to Medvedev calling for the regional government’s removal on the grounds that several of its members were implicated in corruption. The letter was signed by more than 2,000 local residents.

There have been other cases of local authorities taking similar action. Ninety per cent of the copies of the business weekly Kommersant Vlast were seized in Saint Petersburg on 4 July on the orders of the Municipal Press Committee. The issue, whose circulation was not blocked in other regions, criticized Saint Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko.

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