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Heat Turns Up For Independent Dagestan Newspaper

Authorities have accused the Dagestan weekly Chernovik of sympathizing with Islamic militants who have been launching almost daily attacks against police.

Chernovik editor Nadira Isayeva told the AP that officials were seeking to close the newspaper because they were angry over its exposure of police brutality and corruption, which in turn helped swell the number of Islamic militants:

“The main reason behind the persecution of the newspaper is our journalists’ opinion about the activities of law-enforcement structures, which differs from the official view.”

A regional government official responded that the lawsuit was a legitimate response to what he described as the paper’s attempt to justify the militants’ actions, specifically:

“They can write about violations by some police officers, but they shouldn’t blacken the Interior Ministry as a whole.”