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Voronezh magazine editor threatened following publication of article on local politician

(GDF/IFEX) - Leonid Astashov, editor of the independent political magazine "Profi", has received repeated threats since he published an article entitled, "A story from outer space, or some little-known facts from Ivan Lachugin's life," in the December 2008 issue of the magazine. Lachugin is the Duma deputy for Voronezh, in southwestern Russia.

Soon after the publication of the piece, an unidentified man called Astashov on his mobile phone, threatening him and his colleagues with violence in connection with their "insulting" story about Lachugin.

At the end of the New Year's holidays, an unidentified man twice visited Astashov at home, apparently in connection with the Lachugin matter. During the first visit, Astashov was out and the visitor spoke to his son. The second time, Astashov spoke to the man through the closed door.

The man suggested they "go downstairs and have it out, man to man," and demanded the names of the author and "the person who ordered the publication". When Astashov said he would call the police, the visitor walked away.

The editor has filed an official report about the incident with the regional prosecutor's office.

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