05 January 2005, 22:03

Local functionaries 'take journalists as servants', says journalist

Fatima Tlisova began to work as a correspondent for the Novaya Gazeta and Regnum news agency in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachaevo-Cherkessia some time ago. The journalist holds that her publications, in particular a series of articles about the murder of seven Kavkaztsement shareholders, have caused a negative reaction on the part of the authorities. The Kabardino-Balkarian Interior Ministry refused accreditation to Fatima Tlisova saying bluntly that the reason for it lay in her position as a journalist. In Karachaevo-Cherkessia, an attempt was made to accuse her of illegal receiving a pension and institute criminal proceedings against her.

Answering the Caucasian Knot correspondent's question what exactly in the articles devoted to the murder of seven businessmen in Karachaevo-Cherkessia could cause the authorities' discontent, Fatima Tlisova said:

- Media outlets all over the world covered the developments in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, and my articles weren't the sharpest though I wrote about what I saw as I had been in the epicenter of the conflict since its first days. The reason why I captured attention, as I think, is that it isn't so easy to reach Moscow or foreign journalists and though I work for the central outlet, I live near so why not to try to put me in my place?

I hear many threats directed against both my children and me. I know from my experience that I should be in earnest about them. I've been beaten many times in Karachaevo-Cherkessia. Therefore I try to give publicity to most of the cases of putting pressure. It gives me at least a kind of immunity.

Local functionaries still take journalists as servants and are sincerely astonished when the water serves nettle soup instead of the ordered dessert. And "the unity of views and opinions" is more typical of Kabardino-Balkaria then Karachaevo-Cherkessia.

Author: Lyudmila Maratova, CK correspondent;

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