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Reporter threatened after criticising local authorities; reporters barred from covering visit by Federation Council head

(GDF/IFEX) - According to reports by "Arsenyevskiye Vesti" newspaper, after a series of critical publications about the performance of local authorities, reporter Alexandra Nabokova has been receiving anonymous threats. Nabokova is a correspondent for "Arsenyevskiye Vesti" in the maritime territory of Dalnerechensk.

After the first critical report, an insulting phrase was written on the door of Nabokova's apartment. A week later, after "Arsenyevskiye Vesti" carried another critical article on 18 December 2008, she received a late night telephone call from an unidentified man who said, "It seems you didn't get the message. Just one more publication like that and that'll be the end of you!"

Since the threats are linked to the journalist's professional activities, the editor of "Arsenyevskiye Vesti" sent Maritime Prosecutor Yuri Khokhlov a message urging him "to implement appropriate measures to protect journalist Alexandra Nabokova against any threats to her life, honour or dignity."

In a separate incident in Saratov, "Saratovsky Vzglyad" newspaper has reported that its journalists were barred from covering a recent visit by Federation Council head Sergey Mironov.

"It was not Mironov or his press service, or that of the regional governor that denied us accreditation without explaining why. Officially, it was the Federal Bodyguard Service (FSO) that did so. But, as our own investigation shows, the FSO only approved the list recommended by the regional FSB (Federal Security Service) department," the newspaper reported.

The way the "Saratovsky Vzglyad" staffers see it, the accreditation denial came after a series of critical reports about the performance of some secret service officials and was actually "a dim-witted, petty vengeance move" on the part of local FSB commanders.

A crew of reporters for the "Obschestvennoye Mneniye" (Public Opinion) show were also denied admittance to the regional Duma meeting attended by Mironov.

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