Russian newspaper editor charged with 'extremism'

19th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian investigators charged the editor of a newspaper in the eastern Urals region with "extremism" over publications that "incited hatred", prosecutors said Tuesday.

Valery Uskov, 34, printed "statements that incited hatred" in a free newspaper in the small town of Zlatoust in the Chelyabinsk region, the Chelyabinsk investigative committee said in a statement, without elaborating.

The paper "contained calls for violence and extremism activities and incited hatred towards the authorities," an official at the regional prosecutor's office, Alexander Lapkov, told local television.

Television showed headlines critical of the authorities, including "Drought: Undeclared War" and "Eating Russia", an apparent pun on the name of the ruling United Russia party.

The paper had a circulation of 25,000 to 40,000 copies, investigators said. If found guilty, Uskov could serve up to four years in prison. He is being held in pre-trial detention while the investigation is continuing.

Amendments to Russia's law on extremism brought into force in 2007 were criticised by rights organisation as cracking down on media freedom with a vague definition of "extremism" and harsher jail sentences.

In May, Reporters Without Borders named Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as one of the world's top 40 "predators of press freedom".

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article