Printers in Ingushetia refuse to print Chechen newspaper
Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus – The Nazran-based Poligrafkombinat print shop refused to print an edition of the Chechen Society newspaper after Suleiman Kostoyev, head of the shop, read the articles in the issue.
His refusal was based on the paper’s mentioning a possible merger of Chechnya and Ingushetia. Ingushetia's government is concerned about the continual coverage of this matter in the newspaper, said Kostoyev, adding that he has been rebuked for the existence of a special section on this issue in the paper.
Kostoyev decided this issue would not be printed unless the article was replaced with another one, despite a current agreement obligating Poligrafikombinat to print articles without objecting to its contents.
Eventually, another article was substituted and only then the issue went to press.
“This is very odd since the article was completely neutral. The writer, economist Mukhtar Magomadov, was simply expressing his personal opinion. According to him, a referendum in both republics has to be held regarding this unification matter and government officials are obviously afraid of any such discussions,” said Tamerlan Aliyev, the newspaper’s editor. According to him, the aim of the editors was to provide space for the opinions of experts from Chechnya as well as Ingushetia.
After Murat Zyazikov was elected President of Ingushetia, the most “sensitive” subject the local media were not to discuss was Ruslan Aushev, the first Ingush president; nor were Ingush newspapers ever allowed to mention this at all. Yet when their Chechen counterparts wrote about Aushev, their material was censored.
Evidently another unwelcome topic now for Ingush authorities is the possible unification of the republics.
The independent, political Chechen Society has only been in regular circulation since August 2003, but due to its uncompromising stance and criticism of the current situation in Chechnya, it soon became the most popular paper in the republic. At least according to its readers and other journalists. And in November 2003 the newspaper was registered in the Russian Media Ministry.