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RSF Condemns Court Ruling Against Russian Journalist

25 January 2005 -- The international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has criticized a court decision against a Russian journalist.

The North Ossetian Supreme Court on 19 January upheld a forgery conviction against Yurii Bagrov, a correspondent for RFE/RL and a former Associated Press reporter who wrote on the wars in Chechnya and other developments in the Caucasus region.

Prosecutors allege that a judge's signature had been forged on a court document Bagrov used to get his passport in 2003 in the North Ossetian city of Vladikavkaz.

Bagrov, who was fined $537 and had his documents held, said the case was trumped up and retribution by the security services for his reporting work.

Reporters Without Borders said today that the case against Bagrov is simply a case of silencing a journalist who had expressed himself on issues that local journalists do not touch because of the pressure they are under.