Yesterday lawyers of the NN Committee Against Torture who are checking the allegations of citizens of Bogorodsk (a town in Nizhny Novgorod region) of mass beatings committed by local policemen, wanted to place an advertisement in a local newspaper (the Bogorodskaya Gazeta) for finding witnesses to the conflict between policemen and citizens which had taken place on the main square of Bogorodsk on 1 July 2007 during the celebration of the Day of the Town.
Mr. Borisov, the editor-in-chief of the Bogorodskaya Gazeta refused to publish this advertisement referring to the necessity of a consultation with the local prosecutor’s office, and that he, being the head of the periodical which belongs to the administration of Bogorodsk District, was not able to place any commercial advertisement until he received all the constituent documents of the NN Committee Against Torture.
Such position of the editor’s office is at least perplexing. We wonder how long they have been practicing censorship of prosecution officials for placing a paid advertisement in Bogorodsk.
Is there the independent press in Bogorodsk? Do prosecution officials censor all the advertisements published in this newspaper? If they don’t, why do they pay then such special attention to the short message of the NN Committee Against Torture?
These are not idle questions. The events, which took place in Bogorodsk and which are being examined by experts of the Investigative Department of the Committee, beyond any doubts are of great public importance and it seems that Mr. Editor-in-Chief should understand it. Then why did he refuse? We do not want to believe that the refusal was caused by total control over the editor’s office on the part of law enforcement agencies in the person of certain irresponsible local prosecution officials, who instead of supervising of law observance by policemen addicted themselves to an enthralling entertainment – censorship.