Mordovian authorities attack opposition newspaper

Authorities intend to close down Erzya newspaper
MariUver, 06.08.2007

Authorities in Russia’s autonomous Republic of Mordovia have pressed charges against the independent newspaper, Erzyan Mastor (“Land of Erzya”), demanding its closure, Radio Svoboda reports.

The newspaper is being accused of inciting ethnic hatred and of extremism. The trial date has been set at 10 August 2007. The newspaper’s editors expect the court to deliver a verdict that will satisfy the prosecutor.

The editor-in-chief of Erzyan Mastor, Mr Yevgeny Chetvergov, said the prosecutors moved against the newspaper immediately after the Finno-Ugric festival that was held in Saransk recently. The newspaper criticised the event repeatedly.

Erzyan Mastor has been published in Saransk since 1994. The newspaper’s publisher is the Foundation for the Salvation of the Erzyan Language, which was founded by members of the Erzyan intelligentsia.

The deputy editor-in-chief of Erzyan Mastor is Mr Grigory Musalev, Chairman of the Foundation for the Salvation of the Erzyan Language. He is the leading figure in the national opposition movement in Mordovia..

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