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Publication of newspaper suspended following raid; police prohibit journalist from using laptop

(CJES/IFEX) - Police confiscated three computers from the office of the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta v Samare" on 11 May 2007. The police accused the newspaper's journalists of using counterfeit software, reports The newspaper's director, Sergei Kurt-Adzhiyev, has announced that the publication of the paper has been suspended. He believes that the actions taken by the police are aimed at disrupting the publication of the edition of the newspaper that was to come out before a rally planned by the opposition movement, March of the Dissenting Ones, in Samara, for 17 and 18 May.

"Novaya Gazeta" editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov told Interfax news agency that officials from the tax inspection agency came to the newspaper's editorial office after the police visit. He believes the visits are the authorities' way of putting pressure on Kurt-Adzhiyev to influence his daughter, one of the rally organizers.

Interfax-Povolzhye agency reported on 11 May that the Samara police have prohibited "Novaya Gazeta" reporter Darya Marchenko from using her laptop for unknown reasons. Marchenko told Interfax-Povolzhye that the police have shown her a decree signed by the first deputy of the Samara regional police ordering a probe into the work of the information agency Volgainform, which is accused of using unlicensed software. Volgainform believes the law enforcement agencies are putting pressure on the mass media and are preventing them from fulfilling their professional duties.

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